• Jun 13th 2006 at 12:04PM
  • 8

Twelve years ago, Jack Evans (founder and namesake of Evans Cooling) went to court with the claim that General Motors stole his design for a reverse-flow cooling system, a setup that was later put into production in GM's LT1 series of small-block V8s - and a design that was protected by Evan's patents. Such a cooling system sends cold water from the radiator directly to the heads and then to the block, which is opposite of a conventional arrangement. While it potentially offers a increase in cooling performance, some ingenuity is required to prevent the formation of steam bubbles, especially around the cylinder walls. Evans had designed a restricted vent to evacuate vapor and steam bubbles from the system, and states that GM stole his intellectual property during a test in 1989.

Lengthy litigation followed, with GM winning a 2003 case in Connecticut despite admitting that one of its engineers had falsified engineering documentation in an attempt to demonstrate that the technology had been developed in-house. Another trial is now scheduled to begin later this year, and it is said that GM may be on the hook for up to $12 billion in damages. More so, Evans believes that GM's GenIII small-block also uses his technology, even though that engine has conventional cooling flow.

More information on the case (albeit with an obvious bias towards the plaintiff's view_, can be found at a website Evans has set up to explain his side of the story.

[Sources: Fortune Small Business via Yahoo!]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Another lazy dude looking for a handout but reverse flow was nothing new and nothing in research/design.

      As it is GM only used this for a few years and found more problems then it was worth and quit using reverse flow 10 years ago as it caused hot spots and air bubbles in aluminum engines is not a good thing.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is so old it makes Gerald Ford look young. This is just a load of crap getting a little ink from another desperate law firm trying to shake down big bad GM. These lawyers need to earn a honest living instead of spreading lies to line their bank accounts.

      Total nonsense but if GM loses, Toyota will have to start to worry about how they stole the hybrid tech. Yep, they are getting the same exact action filed on them.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Well, since GM won last time around he'd have to have some awesome new case to win this time. Especially if GM won last time even after admitting to having falsified data lol. That would suggest that his case was kinda weak.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I understand if GM is found to be stealing intellectual property they owe money, but someone please tell me how it equals 12 billion dollars.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Wow, I hope GM doesnt get hit with this one. They really cant take another hit like this. That being said, when Toyota was sued over hybrid related technology, some people around here were hip-thrusting the air.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ur... Um... Wasn't this something hotrodders have been doing for years, if not decades, before Evans patented it?

      But if GM did steal some unique aspect of his patent, they do deserve a kick in the crotch.
      • 9 Years Ago

      Reverse flow cooling is just simple physics. Next that guy will have you believe that he invented a gravity feed furnace.

      That engine has been out of production for years anyway.

      • 9 Years Ago
      GM is like every jumbo-corp. They have no desire to pay anybody outside the company a royalty for anything. Especially some smallish independant shop. They would rather spend tons of time and money trying to reverse engineer and tweak to work around someone's patent.

      Large companies in every field of endeavor do this every day. Oft times, they will openly steal it and simply face the litigation. Same game as it ever was - see who can hold out the longest.

      (Anybody remember the ~30 year saga of Ford and the intermittent wiper?)

      Porsche wasted a ton of money and engineering time trying to work around Mitsubishi's counter-rotating balance shaft patent. Eventually, they ended up paying a pittance ($8 per IIRC) to license the thing which they should just done to begin with.

      Glad to see Evans has gotten this back in the press again.
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