It's very common these days for companies to allow universities to use their technology at the cost of tying the company into the university's patent revenue. And of course this is often publicly-funded research, so not only is the taxpayer paying for the development of patents used to sue that same taxpayer, the patents go directly to a company from academia.
Well, it's "talk to us first" which probably means "if you want to patent this, you're going to have to license it to us" sort of deal.
I mean, think about it - the company is offering researchers the chance to work on a live product. If the researchers generate something good, then patent it, the company could find that it is hamstrung because the university it gave research materials to has now blocked it from producing the next-generation product.
Basically the companies want to give researchers materials they need to do their research, but they're also not wanting to shoot themselves in the foot for their generosity (which often includes engineering support at the highest levels) by now being forced to pay huge sums of money for the privilege of furthering research.
So there are several reasons.
One is simple fairness - materials were provided for your research and it would be appreciated to not bite the hands that feed you. So if something gets patented, then perhaps a license to use those patents can be negotiated, with a slight discount
If it results in patents that others are licensing, then maybe a tiny royalty for providing the materials to fund the research.
If a university objects, the simple answer is to not accept the offer and to use other materials.
It's really no different than if a company provided funds for a research grant, except instead of providing cash, they're providing materials.