German court imposes ban on sale and production of Ford’s internet-connected cars in the country due to patent dispute –

author: FutureCar Staff

A German court has banned the nationwide sale of Ford Motor Co vehicles in the country that feature internet-connected infotainment systems. This decision is part of a lawsuit for infringement of patents on wireless technology, Reuters reported Friday.

The Munich Regional Court’s decision primarily concerns the licensing of standard-essential patents for LTE networks used in Ford vehicles in Germany.

However, the Munich Regional Court’s verdict is not legally binding and can still be appealed, he said. According to Reutersthe decision requires a guarantee payment of 227 million euros ($240 million) by the claimant, the Japanese company IP Bridge Inc, in order for it to become “provisionally enforceable”.

IP Bridge Inc helps companies collect patent fees from automakers and other companies for the use of their intellectual property.

These communication technologies are used in vehicle navigation systems, vehicle communications, and autonomous vehicles that send and receive vehicle data over the air.

“The reason for this court case is the licensing of standards-essential patents for LTE networks. As we have not yet received written notice from the court, we do not want to comment on this case at this time,” Ford said in an email. statement to Reuters.

Ford’s connected cars of the future will feature 5G and LTE-based communications technologies to power everything from self-driving and navigation to digital payments and other connected services. In many cases, the hardware that supports these vehicle communication systems is provided by leading telecommunications companies such as Qualcomm, Verizon, Nokia, and others, which typically operated outside of the automotive industry.

But as automakers introduce connected vehicle technology into models, it will be vital to partner with technology partners who provide the hardware and communication protocols.

The ruling against Ford in a German court follows a similar case in February in Japan by 48 telecoms technology developers, including Finland’s Nokia, US chipmaker Qualcomm and Japan’s NTT.

The group of telecommunications companies demanded that Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan pay them patent rights for components used to connect cars and their vehicles to the internet.

The 48 companies own about 70% of the standard patents that form the basic components of 4G communication technology. They are considered essential basic patents for the development of infotainment systems for Internet-connected vehicles.

Nokia, for example, is strong in communications infrastructure such as base stations, while Qualcomm holds many key semiconductor-related patents.

For automakers in Japan, the American company Avanci, responsible for negotiating the patent fees for the LTE (4G) communication standard, is asking the three main Japanese automakers to pay 15 dollars per vehicle in exchange for full use of the related patents owned by the companies. such as Qualcomm and Nokia.

Automakers will still be charged, even if drivers never use any of the communication technologies.

A similar action involving the alleged infringement of patents covering in-vehicle communication technologies was filed against Toyota, Honda and General Motors in October 2021.

Bellevue, Wash.-based private equity firm Intellectual Ventures Management LLC has filed lawsuits in Texas federal district courts against Toyota, Honda and General Motors over the use of Wi-Fi networks embarked.

As more Internet-capable vehicles are built, the licensing of communications technology and the payment of patent rights to telecommunications companies are likely to be commonplace in the automotive industry.

In February 2021, Ford named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Under the six-year partnership starting in 2023, millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles will be powered by Android, with built-in Google apps and services.


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