• Sep 4, 2012
Ford is currently facing a lawsuit regarding the direct injection fuel systems found in its F-150 EcoBoost engine. TMC Fuel Injection System LLC is the company filed the lawsuit Wednesday in a federal court in Philadelphia. The suit alleges that Ford said it was "no longer interested" in the direct injection technology, yet proceeded to employ it in its engines.

Shou L. Hou is the patent inventor for the fuel delivery technology. Ford began talks with Hou and TMC over two years after the patent was filed.

The specific direct injection technology patented by Hou is the dynamic range of the fuel injection which maximizes performance while minimizing fuel waste. This system is said to conserve fuel by 25 percent in city driving, while offering improved power when needed.

The EcoBoost engine representd 42 percent of the F-150 sales in the month of July. Ford began offering this engine in early 2011, after apparently telling TMC and Hou that it had no interest in utilizing their patent.


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  • 66 Comments
      leemillson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its kind of funny. In the 1950s and 60s this type of injection system was experimented with by several including GM I think. And some small machine shops.
      Jei Thom
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow - this could be interesting. Ford has a lot riding on the Ecoboost engine tech & performance. If this fuel-sipping, torque ready technology isn't theirs, the patent lawsuit could damage Ford's credibility in a time when no automaker can afford such a social blow.
        johnnythemoney
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jei Thom
        Will it? Did you remember Toyota loosing a lawsuit on the coupling of the electric motor to the ICE on their HSD (hybrid synergy drive), and having to pay for a royalty for each car equipped with the system? And do you remember Ford using exactly the same system as Toyota through a patent sharing agreement? Maybe you do, but that doesn't change the fact most don't, especially the 99% of the population which is not made of enthusiasts, gearheads and what not. I bet someone don't even remember the Ford/Firestone problems, or the unintended accelerations. Consumers have a short memory when it comes to ads, special offers, buyinf the coolest thing on the market. On the lawsuit, this is just one side of the coin. Let's hear it from Ford as well. Of course if Ford did use the tech without permission, make them pay. It happens on a daily basis in most sectors unfortunately.
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          Well said. And let's not forget the multi-decade row over intermittent windshield wipers. The original inventor got bupkis without a long long battle. And even then, IIRC it was his estate that finally won with essentially fractions of pennies on the dollar relative to profits by the Big Three US car companies.
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      DYNAMIC RANGE is not something you patent. Did he also patent the RPM from 1 to 10000 and the MPH from 1 to 200?
        jocar9416
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        What?? My friend, read and learn what the patent says first. When and if you do ( you probably won't)Then make a comment that MAKES SENSE TO THIS ESTABLISHMENT!!!!!!!
      Don and Joyce
      • 2 Years Ago
      have a 97 f-150 185,000 never a problem still drives like new, the perfect pickup
      beemerboxer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford pulled a stunt like this way back when they purloined the hydraulic plow and lifting system from the Ferguson tractor and used it on their own "clone". Henry Ford 11 reneged on a deal his father had made with Ferguson and used many of the Ferguson patents thus avoiding extensive development costs. Ferguson won his claims over patents but not the antitrust part of the action. Ferguson received a substantial sum in victory and continued to make his own familiar gray tractors. It was rumored that lifting Ferguson's patents saved the Ford Motor Co. millions in research and development costs. Genuine Ferguson and very early Massey Ferguson tractors have a certain collector status among tractor enthusiasts but many still perform farm duties worldwide. A great little tractor with a lot of heart.
      Holycrost
      • 2 Years Ago
      No surprise here. Just the big guy kicking the little guy and walking away with their lunch money to the applause of fans and a ref (Regulators and legislators) looking the other way and looking the other way. Stealing used to be a crime that made the violator a criminal. But as long as someone likes the benefits of the stolen loot, its okay. Right? I mean if Dodge or Chevy used this guys patented tech and payed him, would Ford say they stole the idea from them? And maybe sue for infringing on the EcoBoost system?
      s16454
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, there was a movie released about the intermittent wipers we all use today it was called "Flash of Genius" (2008)
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford was started by Henry Ford - Hitler's pen pa. Ford said it would be easier to pay lawsuits, than to fix the gas tank on the Bronco. As a cost-cutting measure, in the 90's, many fords had only 3 bolts holding on the radiator. To complete your ford, you'd need to run to home depot and buy a bolt yourself. Anybody expecting a high level of decency or morality from this brand, are uneducated in the workings of the industry.
      Thipps
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford did this with a company I was working with....Remember "ford link" yeah it was stolen after months of work put in. basicly they said they were no longer interested after about 6 months....then about a year later they came out with the exact same system
      Oscar
      • 2 Years Ago
      The average consumer couldn't care less.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Oscar
        [blocked]
      rü$╫
      • 2 Years Ago
      This goes to show...there are too many patent laws infringing on our freedoms. Little guys with big ideas cannot progress because only the big guys with all the money can make it happen. And the big guys can steal your ideas and get away with it. Patent laws exist in china but only to help chinese citizens. Unlike here where they are designed to help giant mega million dollar corperations.
      pdicks1951
      • 2 Years Ago
      They also have trouble with their powerstroke diesel motor. They become $50,000.00 yard ornaments.
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