I've seen those references to the various legal systems categorized into those where "all that is not forbidden is permitted" vs. those where "all that is not permitted is forbidden." I always forget which is the "anglo-saxon system" and which is the French system with its Napoleonic Code.
But as EuroTrash was saying, I'm not sure how much effect this all has on "innovation." Assuming that French law is the one that defines what is permitted, I still find the French remarkably innovative about getting over, under, around and through the legalities of life here in France. <g>
But the laws and the "philosophy" of the law do have an effect on the culture of a society. I've noticed this when visiting back in the US - I'm much more inclined to get around the laws in a practical sense than I used to be when I lived in the US.