How do hardline libertarians like Nozick and Rand consider the question intellectual property and monopolies through patents?
On one hand, it seem to me that they would support the concept, given the importance they place on the freedom to do as one pleases with one's property, and on the freedom to enjoy the fruits of one's talent and labor as one sees fit.
On the other hand, restricting free-enterprise through patents and government enforcement, and thwarting free market mechanisms by maintaining monopolies through intellectual property rights seems to go against the general gist of libertarianism. Think of how pharmaceutical companies avoid competition by maintaining monopolies through patents, or how government enforcement was used by corporations to shut down Napster and other peer-to-peer networks.
The case of patents is particularly intriguing: If I can deduce the principles of how to construct a device or a medical treatment based on my observation of its working, my knowledge of science and engineering, and my sheer talent, why should I be prevented from constructing a similar one and marketing it? Isn't that an artificial constraint on my freedom to create?
Again: I am not interested in a general discussion of these ideas, I am specifically asking how would strong libertarians like Nozick or Rand address this issue? Would they agree that companies have exclusive rights to their intellectual property and patents, or would they take a more anarchic, everyone should be free to do work as they please stance?