Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Car Smart

Car Smart: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, October 08, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Ultimate Patent Troll: George Selden, the Patent Attorney Who Claimed to Have Invented the Automobile

The fix in which modern technology finds itself today as the result of our ill-conceived and smothering patent laws is unfortunately nothing new, but was a battle fought more than a century ago over patent rights to the invention of the automobile.

Thankfully for the future development of the automobile industry, legal common sense only prevailed due to the tenacity of Henry Ford, who prevailed over "virtual" inventor George B. Selden upon appeal, in a story in which the otherwise unknown Selden is the main character.

George Selden was a very smart patent attorney in New York in the days when the automobile was being invented, and he saw where the future was going.
Being a bit of a scientific dabbler himself and thus understanding the vector of technology in his day, he applied for a patent to the USPTO, which unblinkingly granted U.S. Patent No. 549,160 for George B. Selden's "Road-Engine", a "car" which of course was never built and which was a mere patented "idea" and nothing more.

That idea served however under the patent law prevailing then -- and similarly prevailing now --to establish Selden's "patent rights".
Selden thereafter attempted to enforce his USPTO-created patent monopoly on automobile manufacturers wherever he could find them. Below is a drawing of his invention. If you can draw, patents are very near.

Selden 1895 Image via Wikipedia
The Selden "Road-Engine"
Selden demanded licensing fees from automobile manufacturers, but some, like Henry Ford, refused to pay, and, after a legal battle lasting 8 years, Ford finally prevailed. The Selden patent had nothing to do with the actual manufacture of cars as they were being built then, or now. The entire story of the greedy would-be inventor who never actually built one single automobile can be read at the Wikipedia.

George who?
also has a readable account of the Selden story, the man who claimed to have invented the automobile but never built a single car.

Suffice it to say that the entire Selden patent story shows the same sad unresolved weaknesses in patent law interpretation and application that confound industry today and which permit patent trolls who have never manufactured a single product themselves to extort licensing fees from companies who HAVE figured out how to manufacture something and to make a profit doing so, where the alleged "inventor" was unable to do so.

Eolas and NTP could be considered as examples of the many trolling George Seldens dotting the patent landscape today, existing as parasites on the backs of those who actually make the economy run.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

125 Years Ago on August 29: The Gottlieb Daimler "Riding Car" Patent Was Filed and the Dawn of the Automobile Era Began

(Note, I thought I had scheduled this to be published on August 29, but it somehow sneaked out a few days early.)

In any case, Daimler filed for his patent on the Reitwagen (literally, "riding wagon" but normally translated as "riding car" -- it is actually more like a motorcycle) on August 29, 1885, as you can read at the Daimler website -- a patent issued as DRP Nr. 36 423 on August 11, 1886.

First motorcycle called Image via Wikipedia
Chuck Squatriglia of Autopia at Wired in The Dawn of the Automobile Era informs us, together with great photographs, that:
"The age of the automobile started exactly 125 years ago when Gottlieb Daimler filed a patent for his revolutionary “riding car,” a two-wheeled machine driven by an internal combustion engine."
As written at the Daimler website, that was preceded by Gottlieb Daimler's April 3, 1885 patent for  a light, heavy-duty 4-stroke combustion engine, and followed in 1886 by the 3-wheel "Patent Car" of Carl Benz and the 4-wheel "car" of Gottlieb Daimler, a "motor carriage".

Benz Patent Motorwagen which is widely regarde...Image via Wikipedia
Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt Werkstatt Gottlieb Dai...Image via Wikipedia
See also
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The world’s most expensive cars revealed « BOTB News

The world’s most expensive cars revealed « BOTB News: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

New Images of Bugatti Veyron Supersport released « BOTB News

New Images of Bugatti Veyron Supersport released « BOTB News: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Automobiles in America: Has U.S. American Car Culture Peaked?

Richard Florida at The Atlantic in The Great Car Reset refers to an article -- The End of Car Culture -- by Nate Silver at Esquire magazine and to a similar article by Jack Neff at Advertising Age -- Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture? -- which provide evidence that America's car culture has peaked.

What will take its place?

Crossposted from LawPundit.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luxury Cars and Boats at June 3, 2010 U.S. Treasury Auction in Broward County Convention Center, Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Get yourself a luxury car or boat at the June 3, 2010 U.S. Treasury Auction in Broward County Convention Center, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Being auctioned off are inter alia
  • 2006 Ferrari F430 Spyder
  • 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 Super Veloce
  • 2009 Maserati Gran Turismo (GT) Coupe
  • 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB16.4
  • 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Convertible
  • 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB
  • 2008 Ferrari F430 Spyder Convertible
  • 2009 Bentley Continental GTC
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
  • 2007 Ford Expedition Limousine
  • 2008 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007 Warren S87 Motor Yacht
  • 2009 Yamaha Waverunner Personal Watercraft
  • 2005 Riva Aquariva Super Vessel
  • 1998 Searay Sundancer 540 Express Cruiser Vessel
  • 2006 Nor-Tech Supercat Vessel
Hat tip to Robb Report.

It's just a matter of money.

House Panel Approves Auto-Safety Bill -

House Panel Approves Auto-Safety Bill -

Wider cars blamed for more accidents - Telegraph

Wider cars blamed for more accidents - Telegraph

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick Spin: Nissan Leaf Test Mule -- Autoblog

Quick Spin: Nissan Leaf Test Mule -- Autoblog

Spring Sales Success For Nissan Centres Around British Built Models

Spring Sales Success For Nissan Centres Around British Built Models

NISSAN | Nissan Production, Sales, Export Results for March 2010 and Fiscal Year 2009

Nissan bucked the general trend in the last year by increasing auto production and the figures just released for March 2010 show a stronge surge of sales around the world. See NISSAN | Nissan Production, Sales, Export Results for March 2010 and Fiscal Year 2009

Renault-Nissan breaks ground on Sunderland, UK battery plant, first packs due in 2012 — Autoblog Green

Renault-Nissan breaks ground on Sunderland, UK battery plant, first packs due in 2012 — Autoblog Green

The Nissan Qashqai as an Electric Taxi With Switchable Batteries in a Japan Debut

Remember the August 2009 LawPundit posting where we suggested to Standardize Electric Car Batteries so that Drivers can quickly exchange Battery Units at Charging Stations rather than charge a Car's Own Batteries?

Denise Ngo reports at Popular Science that
Electric Taxis With Switchable Batteries Debut in Japan

The car you see above in a photo linked from Popular Science is a Nissan Qashqai, a car designed in the UK, but not available for sale in the USA (probably because it is yet too small for the American size-addicted market).The crossover Qashqai is surely one of the best cars for the money on the market today and obtained the best ever EuroNCAP crash test rating when tested in 2007. No wonder they are using the Qashqai as the taxi for this debut.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Car of the Year 2010 at Robb Report Mercedes Audi Aston Martin Lamborghini Bentley Land Rover Jaguar Porsche Shelby Allard Aileron BMW Veyron

The current issue of the Robb Report is a feast for car drivers not only with its Car of the Year 2010 competition - plus its unrivaled Car of the Decade - but also because of additional photographic feature reports on the long-awaited Lexus LFA, Maserati and, for the golfers of this world, the incomparable Go, Go, Garia:
"The Danish-designed Garia Golf Car ( ... is the first golf cart manufactured in an automotive facility—the same Finnish factory where the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are built. Notable features on the cart include handstitched weather-resistant seats and a roof-mounted air scoop that channels fresh air into the cabin. Priced from $17,500, the Garia comes in three standard colors (cream, white, and red) but includes custom painting—along with bucket seats and an onboard mini-fridge—among its many options."
You know what. The Garia is OUR choice for Car of the Year 2010. Why don't we all drive more of these around town and less so the gas-guzzling giants which are essentially road machines not well-suited for city driving?

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