Innovation Asset Blog

Ford dealing with two lawsuits alleging patent infringement

Ford Motors is the defendant in two intellectual property lawsuits, according to Wall St. Cheat Sheet.

The first lawsuit was brought by Paice LLC, and concentrates on Ford's use of hybrid technology. Paice alleges Ford is infringing its patents in the hybrid power train systems Ford uses in several vehicles. The hybrid and plug-in versions of Ford's C-Max, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ automobiles are those alleged to contain technology that violates Paice's patents. Ford had licensed one of Paice's patents in 2010. The companies had hoped to avoid court through a broad settlement, but Paice called Ford's efforts "short and one-sided."

"The truth is that Ford built its new hybrid system by relying heavily on the hybrid vehicle inventions it learned from Paice," the company wrote in its complaint. Paice's founder Alex Severinsky and others in the company met with Ford more than 100 times between 1999 and 2004 to work on hybrid technology.

The second lawsuit concerns a turn signal. Richard Ponziani, a former automotive design engineer, alleged Ford's new turn signal violates a patent he filed in 2008. The feature causes the turn signal to blink three times and then turns off, ensuring it doesn't stay on. Ford introduced that feature in 2009 as a fix for what it called one of the "top 10 driving pet peeves," according to Bloomberg.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.