Buick is the latest brand to leave a breadcrumb trail for its future products by filing for a tradermark on May 3 to cover its Riviera moniker. While that doesn’t prove anything on its own, the company isn’t known for flippantly filing for trademarks on the off chance they might one day come true.
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Paice LLC, a company whose founder says he developed a high-voltage electrical system to power hybrid vehicles, filed a lawsuit against Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia on the claim that they infringed upon patents held by the company.
This follows on from another long running legal battle between Paice and Toyota, also over Hybrid technology patents, which endured for some eight years and was finally settled in 2010.
As for the latest suit, Paice claims that it repeatedly tried to contact Hyundai as early as 2004, in order to discuss its patent Hybrid technology, but says that with the development and market introduction of the Sonata Hybrid sedan, the automaker infringed upon three patents owned by Paice.
The technology company says it wants cash compensation for the infringement as well as an order that will require automakers to get permission before they can use the proprietary technology from Paice.
Ford Motor Company, which has also employed hybrid technology for vehicles such as the popular Escape SUV and Fusion midsize sedan, agreed to use Paice’s technology under license in order to avoid legal issues.
[Source: Auto News]
Smug journalists across the internet are poking fun at the possibility that President Barack Obama might have referred to the 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang as “sick” during his visit to the Washington D.C. Auto Show.
True or false, his remarks about the muscle car don’t really matter. What’s slightly more significant is the speech he made to herald General Motors’ return to the throne as the world’s highest volume automaker.
While it isn’t surprising that the President would want to talk about something like that, it is a good chance to point out that GM is doing more than taking the Costco approach to selling cars.
In fact, GM is leading more than just the number of vehicles sold. They’re also the industry’s top innovator, according to The Patent Board. This is actually the fourth consecutive quarter that the Detroit giant can claim that title. An impressive 1,123 U.S. patents were granted to the company in 2011 for global product engineering, global powertrain engineering, global research and development and OnStar organizations.
It’s interesting because we don’t always think of GM when imagining who will come out with the latest breaking tech or engineering feats, yet they emerged victorious over 183 other firms. It seems like most of the automotive wizardry starts overseas in Europe and makes its way to domestic vehicles a little while later.
Blind spot detection is a great example of that. Volvo was the first to introduce it, but companies like GM and Ford are on board with the bandwagon.
Among GM’s recent patents, there is technology for quieter brakes, better OnStar voice recognition and something called eAssist Thermal Management which controls engine shutoff to ensure occupant comfort in extremely hot or cold weather.
That begs the question: what’s next from some of the greatest minds in Michigan?
According to the Patent Board, General Motors is recognized as the top innovator among 182 companies, based on results from its quarterly released automotive and industry scorecard.
The board examines intellectual property performance spanning some 17 different industries and picks a leader in each one, based on categories such as the number of patents, influence and impact on the industry, along with science strength and technology.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that GM recently received more patents for clean energy technology last year than any other organization, based on findings from the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. In fact, during the last decade, GM has increased the number of its patent filings six-fold.
According to Alan Taub, GM’s vice president of Research & Development, the increase in the number of patents is due to the fact that, “our engineers are developing advanced technologies that increase fuel efficiency and ensure safety while maintaining the excitement of personal mobility.”