So basically doing the same thing that Adobe did with their subscription plan.
To be very clear, I am absolutely not trying to defend Adobe's subscription-based pricing model. I am not currently an employee of Adobe and even when I was, I was not involved in any pricing or product packaging decisions.
However, to be fair, users of Adobe's applications were effectively on a rental/subscription basis with those applications long before the subscription model was formally rolled out. Unless you were content to continue using an existing “perpetual license” release indefinitely, you needed to buy what turned out to be annual new releases in order to maintain compatibility with new hardware and operating system environments (especially with Macintosh systems), much less compatibility with content generated by other users of these applications who did buy upgrades and were using new features yielding content that was incompatible with older software versions.
Pantone's change of business model with regards to how their swatch L*A*B* were bundled with applications would be more analogous to a hypothetical situation in which Monotype no longer allowed Microsoft or Apple to bundle Arial and Times New Roman with Windows and MacOS respectively and required each user of those operating systems to subscribe to a plug-in which made those fonts (and others previously bundled with the operating system) dynamically available to the operating system and applications going forward. (Oops, maybe I shouldn't give them any ideas! )