Sometimes automakers accuse each other of stealing technologies. Instead, Ford Motor Co. has been accused by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors of stealing patents and profiting big off them.
The innovations from MIT faculty have been used in numerous EcoBoost engines, including for the super-popular F-Series lineup. More specifically, these professors say they patented the dual port- and direct-injection, which boost fuel efficiency and performance.
Those enhancements have been used in EcoBoost engines for a few years. In a lawsuit filed recently, the MIT faculty want an unspecified amount of profits from those vehicles. As you can imagine, Ford’s not exactly excited about that, especially considering its precarious financial position at the moment and the fact most vehicles it sells use EcoBoost tech.
Not that long ago, Ford and MIT enjoyed a nice collaborative association. While the automaker reaped the rewards of highly innovative tech, the relationship turned sour by 2015. According to the lawsuit, that’s when Ford referred to these three professors as “greedy inventors” since they pushed for exclusive rights to license the patents Ford’s now using.
This doesn’t sound good for Ford, but so far we’re only getting half the story. Ford won’t comment on the lawsuit, but expect an answer in court.