The Ford F-Series has consistently been the World’s Best-selling vehicle and is perhaps the only thing keeping Ford in the US afloat. However, recent allegations seem to have turned the tide on the brand that has been using “stolen” technology for the manufacture of their newer more efficient motors. The accusations come out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology where three professors say that they have proprietary rights to the technology that has been used to make the vehicles even more efficient!
If that sounds unfair, its because it very much is, Ford sells one of these truck every 29 seconds, which means to a minute. Last year, the Ford F-150 accounted for, 42 billion dollars in revenue for Ford. The professors who claim rights to the technology say that they want some share of the proceeds, considering no permission was saught in the process. According to a Law Suit that was filled on January 30th, the patented dual port- and direct-injection technology was added to the company’s EcoBoost engines in recent years without permission.
On the back of this dispute, a long-standing collaboration between MIT and Ford will come to an end. The two had started a joint-energy research programme in 2007 that will focus on powertrain, fuel and energy technologies. According to a report on Bloomberg, MIT professor Leslie Bromberg, Daniel R. Cohn and John B. Heywood, who has been working for decades on improvements to internal-combustion engines, say they invented dual-injection technologies that allow for better fuel-and-air mixing and combustion stability than direct injection, with less engine knock.
At the time of the lawsuit, EBS the patent holding entity had invited Ford to analyze the patents and identify how they were not applicable to their products. However, after this Ford neither appeared or showed any interest in getting their technology patented.
The icing on the cake was the fact that although Ford said they had no real intentions of using the technology, they did. The complaint cites a June 2017 press release in which Ford said it was using dual port- and direct-injection technology in its 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines and other engines that are available in the F-150, Expedition and other models. In fact over the years, Eco Boost engines have been used in almost all Ford cars from the F150 to the Fiesta!
With Inputs from Bloomberg