Ford Allows Competitors Access to Patents

fordLos Angeles – In the interest towards development, Ford Motors is allowing competitors to access its patents regarding electric and hybrid vehicles technology. In 2014 alone, Ford submitted over 400 patents relating to electric vehicles. In addition, Ford has already been awarded over 650 such patents, with an additional 1,000 patents currently pending.

Among the patents that will be made available is a patent for battery and charge balancing which can maximize the capacity of the battery, and one for “driving behavior feedback” which can allow drivers to adopt more fuel-efficient methods when driving.

Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. stated that the release of the patents was for “industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles” and that Ford’s main goal is innovation. With this, the sharing of ideas with competitors can allow for more industry wide development and faster results. Sharing data and patents is also expected to allow for the mass production of electric cars so that they become more affordable for consumers.

Other companies can either contact Ford’s technology commercialization office or access the patents through AutoHarvest, which is a website for members to share and explore new technologies. As a co-founder of AutoHarvest, Ford wanted technology to become transparent and accessible. However, there will be a fee to access the patents.

Ford plans to hire over 100 new electric vehicle engineers as a further step to focus on new innovative ways of building cars.

While Ford certainly has good intentions with releasing its patents, it is also beneficial for the company. While the electric car market is fast-growing, Ford as much as any company has an opportunity to capitalize on future growth of the electric vehicle market. Currently Ford has six hybrid and electric cars available for purchase and has goals to greatly increase this number.

Sharing patents appears to be the latest trend for car companies and Ford did not start the trend. Last year, Elon Musk of Tesla also released the patents relating to Tesla technology as a way to help other companies produce better electric cars, and also to boost consumer confidence when switching over to electric cars. Musk was quoted to be “frustrated” that other companies had not yet produced long-range electric cars. The thinking for Tesla and Ford appears to be that speeding the adoption of electric technology will help them more than their competitors.




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