OK, I have hit the end of the book Made in Japan: but one more quote:
When we began making tape recorders in Japan, we held all the crucial patents and we had 100 percent of the market. But it might have been self-defeating to continue that monopoly. We began licensing, and soon we had only 30 percent of the market, but it was a much bigger market.
The Vilani are known for their love of IP rights, and their dislike of having an expiry or end-point to those patents, copyrights, trade secrets, etc. And yes, they know that this attitude stifles development, growth and change: that’s the whole point.
(In my imagination they are routinely exchanging tidbits and detailed pointers with Disney lawyers.)
But Akio Morita of Sony points to a different way to use licenses, as a way to get more companies into the market and grow the overall size of the pie. A very confident Vilani corporation may well follow the strategy, but it seems more like something the Mixed Vilani would do.
Most Solomani are hostile to the very idea of patents, as they are the corporate underdogs in the Imperium ever since the power of the Solomani Party was broken in the Imperial Court (with the not-exactly-hidden encouragement of the Vilani megacorporations). Solomani tunes change as soon as they are at the top of the power pyramid, as usual.