Remember that companies aren't evil, they are just amoral.
Amoral + Near-term-focused = Long-term-evil
Atlantic Richfield, Amoco, Exxon, and Mobil all purchased photovoltaic technologies in the late 70's and soon thereafter lobbied for the repeal of tax credits for solar power. Now why would they do that? Because once they've hedged their bets with IP acquisitions, they can go right back to protecting their core business. Yes, it's perfectly reasonable if all you care about is the fiscal year, but it's perfectly evil if the larger community is running out of time to develop and transition into oil alternatives.
If oil companies had sincerely developed and promoted these technologies when they acquired them 35 years ago, we would now see much wider adoption of solar in the US, and we would be significantly less dependant on oil.