Intelligence gathering? This is not a war its business, and there is not much I can think of that Toyota would want to steal from GM.Being a Japanese apologist is not thinking objectively. A foreign company or government setting up "research" (intelligence gathering) offices in America to gather our technology is not virtuous.
I would need to see something about this, but if GM only patented a later version of it then really it is there fault for being sloppy. But don't you know that all car companies these days strip down their competitors cars? My cousin had in internship at Ford and they would strip all sorts of cars down to see exactly how the competition is building their cars.The Japanese stole General Motors catalytic converter technology. A Federal bureaucrat showed the Japanese a General Motors prototype catalytic converter that General Motors loaned the Federal Government allowing the Japanese to take notes, drawings, photographs, etc. The Japanese subsequently produced a copy. A Federal judge did not give General Motors damages because General Motors patented a later version of their catalytic converter and not the prototype the Japanese copied.
Why would a company release a product with a risk of patent infringement? That does not make a good business case and obviously you don't understand how business works. It's not pretty, it's cut throat.Toyota copied TRW’s concept for hybrid vehicles when they developed the Prius. They allowed TRW’s patents to expire before they introduced the Prius therefore there was no patent infringement.