Sram did state they are looking for licensing partners....
Link here - Bike Europe
Why stop other people making them when you can get them to pay you while they help to take market share from shimano. The patent is to stop Shimano from tagging on, they must be losing top end marked share by the bucket load since XX1 has been around!
One thing that is strange, Raceface and E13 are both big players and wouldnt be dumb enough to take SRAM on in a legal sense, either they plan to license or the patent is fudge?
Either way, would Wolf Tooth and Works even attempt to fight it, they would roll over and stop selling i expect, david v goliath but here the small man wouldnt win!