A reader sends this:
In 1932, Konosuke Matsushita (founder of Matsushita Electric/Panasonic) negotiated with a man to use Japanese core patents for the radio. The man had acquired the patents from someone else, but had no intention of manufacturing radios or creating jobs, he just wanted to extract a princely rent for them. Mr Matsushita thought him to be arrogant, but eventually paid a princely sum of 22,000 yen to buy the two patents. The retail price of an electric iron was 3 yen at the time, so 22,000 yen was a fortune.
Mr Matsushita didn’t use the patents to create a monopoly for his company. He put the patents in the public domain so any manufacturer could use them, free of charge. He wanted many competitors to build an industry that would create jobs, drive down costs, fuel innovation and enhance the lives of everyone. He was happy to compete for market share and asked his employees to do it by building the best radios they could at the best cost.