As a large tech firm just not patenting anything doesn't seem practical given the current patent law even if you don't plan on suing people for them. Once you get a patent another company can't get a patent for the same thing (and if they do it's easy to invalidate) and also the more patents you have the less likely you are to be sued for patent infringement as you could always sue them back for your patents.
So there's no practical way to demonstrate prior art without filing a patent?
I think the actual advantage is "mutually assured destruction"; big companies accumulate large patent portfolios so that they can (among other things) have enough stuff patented that they have the option to counter sue or if they get sued they can find some way that the suing company is violating something else in their portfolio and threaten to sue over that.
Even if you have unwavering faith in a company's current leadership, when that leadership is not making money, they will be replaced by someone who is. So if the possibility to patent troll exists, eventually, it will.
So the only people who could replace the leadership...are the leadership.
There's an argument that institutional investors can still influence mostly privately held firms, but I'm not sure how much I buy that in this case.
Slippery slope much?
Redundant definition of profit?
The point is that a company doesn’t have to always “maximize profits”. Tim Cook famously told a shareholder to “get out of the stock” if that was how he assessed his portfolio. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/ne...