Ford patent focus
Ford is offering competitors access to its electrified
vehicle technology patents, which it described as "a move to
help accelerate industry-wide research and development of
In 2014, Ford filed more than 400 patents dedicated to
electrified vehicle technologies, more than 20% of the patents
the company filed.
Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs,
said in a statement: "By sharing our research with other
companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle
technology and deliver even better products to customers."
Ford has more than 650 electrified vehicle patents and about
1,000 pending patent applications on electrified vehicle
technologies. It produces six hybrid and fully-electrified
The company said to access its patents and published patent
applications, interested parties can contact the
company’s technology commercialisation and
licensing office, or work through AutoHarvest – an
automaker collaborative innovation and licensing marketplace.
The patents would be available for a fee.
The car maker also plans to hire an additional 200
electrified vehicle engineers this year. The team moves into a
newly dedicated facility – Ford Engineering
Laboratories – home to Henry Ford’s first
labs in Dearborn.
Ford highlighted three of the available patents: Method and
Apparatus for Battery Charge Balancing, patent No. US5764027;
Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric
Vehicle, patent No. US6275763; and Driving Behavior Feedback
Interface, patent No. US8880290.
Tesla last year made all of its patents available for free,
saying that it "will not initiate patent lawsuits against
anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology". Toyota
earlier this year opened up hydrogen fuel 5,6000 hydrogen fuel
Fortune ran a piece saying that
Ford’s announcement is "overhyped". It
reported that prices will range between "hundreds and thousands
of dollars," according to Ford’s sustainability
spokesman John Cangany, who did say the intent was to make
these fees "reasonably priced" to make them more
Obama sides with
The Obama administration this week said the Supreme Court
should not hear Google’s appeal in its case
against Oracle over Java,
reports Reuters. Oracle won a Federal Circuit ruling that
allows it to copyright parts of Java, despite Google arguing
code is not entitled to copyright protection and that it should
be free to use Java without paying for a licence.
US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said that
Google’s argument lacks merit. He added that
Google had raised important issues about how the enforcement of
Oracle’s copyright could affect software
development but said these issues could be addressed through
further proceedings on Google’s separate "fair
use" defence in San Francisco federal court.
had previously reported that the Obama administration was
locked in a fierce internal debate about what its positon
should be in the case.
Verrilli's position is disappointing and betrays a basic
lack of understanding of how APIs work,
said Michael Barclay, special counsel at the Electronic
grants tipped to fall in 2015
Dennis Crouch on the Patently-O blog
has predicted that US patent grants will fall in the 2015
fiscal year. However, the fall will only be slight, he said
after assessing the data for the first two-thirds of the
The expected numbers through September 2015 will probably be
just below the record high of more than 300,000 utility patents
issued in fiscal year 2014.
"The expected return of 298,000 is only 2% below 2014
numbers but remains almost double the output throughout the
first decade of this millennium," Crouch noted.
The past five years have all set a new record for the number
of patents granted. The USPTO itself has predicted a 2% drop in
utility patent application filings in fiscal year 2015.
declare but their genius
Rock band Led Zeppelin has denied liability in answer to a
copyright infringement lawsuit over its classic song "Stairway
to Heaven". But it has agreed with one part of the complaint
ABA Journal reports.
The band said in a filing: "Answering paragraph 11 of the
first amended complaint, including the first amended
complaint’s footnote 1, Defendants admit that Led
Zeppelin has been called one of the greatest bands in history
and its members were and are exceptionally talented, but
otherwise deny each and every allegation contained in paragraph
11 of the first amended complaint."
The band is accused of lifting portions of the 1968 Spirit
song "Taurus" in a lawsuit filed by the estate of songwriter
Randy California. The suit was filed in the Eastern District of
The suit says: "Any reasonable observer, when comparing
'Taurus’ and 'Stairway to Heaven,’
must conclude that – at the very least –
significant portions of the songs are nearly identical."
Trolls make it to
the Supreme Court
The term "patent troll" was used for the first time in a
Supreme Court opinion this week,
according to Fortune.
Justice Antonin Scalia dissented with the
Court’s 6-2 majority
Commil v Cisco ruling that "a defendant’s
belief regarding patent validity is not a defense to an induced
Justice Scalia wrote: "I may add, however, that if the
desirability of the rule we adopt were a proper consideration,
it is by no means clear that the Court’s holding,
which increases the in terrorem power of patent
trolls, is preferable."
In the case, the defendant Cisco argued that since a good
faith belief in non-infringement is a defence against
inducement liability, a good faith belief in the
patent’s invalidity should similarly be a defence.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff Commil took the position that
knowledge of the patent is all that is required to find
liability for inducement - even knowledge that the induced acts
would be infringing is not needed.
rejected both propositions, finding that Commil’s
argument that knowledge of the patent is all that is required
for induced infringement liability is an incorrect reading of
the clear language of its rulings in Global-Tech and
Aro II. Those cases, the majority noted, made it clear
that the defendant must also know that the induced actions
would infringe the patent in question.
Scalia’s dissent, joined by Chief Justice Roberts,
supported the majority’s decision on this
Also on the blog this week:
Are more changes needed to IPR
What are the IP industry disrupters?
Moving towards some FRAND and SEP
In our news and analysis this week:
Supreme Court decision may result in more
attorneys’ fees awards
The fine line between abuse and fair use at
Acorda questions real parties-in-interest in
first Bass IPR
Italy to join Unitary Patent –
IP fees to soar in UAE this week
US software patents – Obtainable,
enforceable, and as important as ever
2014 median US patent litigation damages were
second-lowest in 20 years: PwC
IP Clinic: How can we encourage our employees
to patent more?
IPOS develops patent services for
Why Philip Morris is suing the UK
Supreme Court defends presumption of patent
Court offers pointers on settlement
Hague gives teeth to provisional
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