"Even better would be if the company using the patented technology went to the patent holder - before releasing to market - and licensed the technology..."
You assume that the manufacturer actually knows what patents are held ! That's one hell of an assumption. Large corporations, and not so large, now use patents as a weapon - the idea being that if you hold enough of them, on obscure topics, with wide-ranging claims, then sooner or later whatever you want to block is bound to infringe on one of them.
OK, so all you have to do is read through the patents, or do a search. Ha ha ! There's thousands, if not millions, of current patents - so that's a problem to start with. And then you get to the scope - have you ever actually tried to read one ?
Note that Microsoft is a prime example of this, they CLAIM that Linux infringes on a couple of hundred of their patents, but will NOT say which ones - because if they say then people can a) apply to have invalid patents declared invalid, and b) just work around them. One of the useful things to come out of the EU documentation settlement is that MS now state which of their patents they claim apply to what bits of their networking.
The only better strategy is if you can have your patents violated by a standard - while "accidentally" forgetting to mention it while the standard is being drawn up. That way you have people in a position where they have to pay you to implement open standards - it's happened.
I would say that it's not practical to find out beforehand what patents may be claimed to apply - so realistically the only way to is carry on and wait till someone makes a claim. Hopefully it will be in the form of "by the way ..." rather than "here's your summons" !