What some call bloat here is what I call 'fsck yeah!' in this particular case.
You see, these OpenRISC designs are for ARM IP, used by an actual company that sells to actual companies such as Samsung, which makes actual phones. Free libre ARM SoC's that can kill the standard 'fork the Linux kernel and make this piece of ARM crap work'-mentality.
This work may ultimately be the groundwork for being able to download any particular distro to your smartphone and have it work out of the box, much like x86 CPU's.
I know; it's a long way, but after SonyEricson said they'd open up their locked bootloaders and now HTC shipping with unlocked bootloaders, we might even get rid of Android and have a whole new type of distro's, such as MeeGo, made for smartphones.
Yes, believe it or not, without patents businesses would still seek better ideas, and ideas are more readily available than they ever were now days with the Internet.
Patents do more harm than good, by far, because of all the harmful effects these monopolies on ideas cause. Read Against Intellectual Monopoly.