There are news items in the automotive industry that you can see coming and are fairly predictable, but sometimes one comes in straight out of left field. Case in point, word of a lawsuit launched by professors at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) against Ford.
The suit claims Ford used MIT-patented technologies in some of its EcoBoost engines without permission. According to a report in Bloomberg, these technologies touch on a direct injection system as well as port fuel-injection technology
Recall that there is a partnership history between MIT and Ford. In 2007, the two parties had announced joint research into improving the efficiency of combustion engines. The new lawsuit claims that when the partnership between the companies came to an end, Ford refused to negotiate a licencing agreement with MIT’s researchers, describing them in an exchange of emails as “greedy inventors”.
There are big stakes here. If the MIT group prevails with its suit, there could be a lot of money on the table considering how widespread EcoBoost engines are across Ford’s product range.