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After over a dozen lawsuits in just two years, Ford is taking action to combat so-called patent trolls, companies that purchase patents just to file lawsuits.

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Apple has filed for a patent to let your smartphone also act as a car key. While some automakers have apps that already do that, this solution lets users selectively share the functionality with other devices.

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Part Of New Eco-Tech Center In Gwangju

Hyundai will open up some its green car patents in order to make it easier for small Korean companies to promote hydrogen fuel cell cars.

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A trademark application filed by General Motors for the name Z71 Trail Boss suggests a more hardcore off-roader could be in store for Chevy or GMC in the near future.

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Mini impressed us all when it revealed the Superleggera Vision concept at the Paris Motor Show a couple of months ago. But even before the little roadster concept debuted, there were already rumors of its production potential. And those rumors are only being further entrenched by the emergence of a series of patent renderings.

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Ever since Opel brought out the Cascada convertible last year, rumors have been flying that Buick would offer it Stateside – much like it does with the Insignia-based Regal and the Astra-based Verano. And now we might have our best clue yet as to what Buick might call it.

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Development of Bentley's forthcoming utility vehicle is almost complete, and the British automaker has painted a vivid picture of what to expect: otherworldly luxurious, a range of powertrains including a twelve-pot and a hybrid, and a price tag that is sure to eclipse any other SUV or crossover on the market. One of the biggest questions still remaining, however, is what Bentley will call the thing, but we might have our answer right here.

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If you've ever wanted a powerplant that looks more like a greeble from a Star Wars spaceship than a block engine, Eco-Motive has your answer. The just-announced dual-fuel "H" engine can burn gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG).

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Green may have been a popular color choice for the classic Jaguar E-Type, but even in Lightweight form (pictured above), it was hardly what you'd call environmentally friendly. Not by today's standards, anyway, with six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder engines displacing between 3.8 and 5.3 liters. But Jaguar looks to be preparing to revive the nameplate – or at least one similar – with a new electric vehicle in the works.

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When we read reports that Ferrari had applied for a patent on a V-twin engine design, our first thought was to check the date: this says the first of October, right... not April? And so here we are, entertaining the notion that Ferrari could be developing a motorcycle engine.

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There may not be many ways to forecast what an automaker is planning for the future, but there are some. Trademark applications are one of them, and Chrysler has just applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect the name "Trackhawk." The question is, what's it planning on using it for? We don't know for sure, but we can put together an educated guess or two. And one guess is that Jeep will use the name to replace the letters SRT on the performance version of the Grand Cherokee.

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Students at China's Chang'an University have applied for a patent on the bizarre creation seen above, according to Visor Down. It's clearly based on a motorcycle, and this oddity appears to be an attempt at a conversion to remove the wheels and replace them with a single, continuous track. The modifications would seemingly maintain the suspension of a normal cycle, including a telescoping front fork and rear swing arm, while completely ditching the wheels.

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Recent patent filings appear to indicate that Yamaha might be thinking about bringing a leaning, three-wheeled electric scooter to the US. While the idea of a trike cycle is hardly new – after all Yamaha already has its own Tricity – this one would have its dual wheels in the back with each one powered by its own electric motor. According to Visor Down, the Japanese company submitted for an application on the same vehicle in Europe, as well.

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By now, it's clear that the Chinese auto industry has shown us a demonstrated will (if not necessarily the complete ability) to copy something that another automaker has made. In this case, the subject appears to be the Local Motors Rally Fighter.

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Automobiles keep getting more and more advanced, with computers playing an ever-increasingly vital role in their operation. But some things remain the same. Despite more advanced (if not necessarily better) technologies available, we still burn fossils to fuel our engines, we still check what's behind us in actual mirrors and (with few exceptions) we still turn a steering wheel mechanically connected to the front wheels to change directions. But that doesn't mean automakers aren't working at new

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Gift to the world or trade bait? Tesla Motors announced this week it would open its patents for other automakers to use. That has analysts guessing whether the California-based electric-vehicle maker is looking to either swap trade secrets with other automakers or to expand the proverbial pie that represents the plug-in vehicle market. For its part, Tesla says the answer is B.

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When Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that he's thinking about something, you definitely need to pay attention because it's likely something big. In an eloquently worded press release (a very rare thing indeed) Musk explains reason after reason why Tesla is opening up all of its patents, effective immediately.

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CEO suggests as much during launch of RHD Model S in UK

During the Q&A portion of Tesla's annual shareholder meeting last week, CEO Elon Musk said something that caught our ear: "I'm contemplating doing something fairly significant on that front [promoting EVs] which should be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla's patents. But I probably want to write something so that I can take articulate it properly and explain the reasoning for the decision." We immediately asked Tesla for more information but it was the BBC that got to question Musk

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The term "iconic" gets thrown around a lot, but if there was ever a design worthy of the honorific, surely it's the Honda Super Cub. That's not just our opinion, though: it's the official word from the Japanese Patent Office, which has recognized the classic scooter's shape with a three-dimensional trademark.

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Tesla Motors is quietly getting ready for an electric-vehicle charging station that could be considered smarter than the drivers using it. The California-based automaker has applied for a number of patents (details here) in which its super-quick Superchargers would be programmable to better manage what Tesla hopes will be a mass influx of thirsty Model S (and Model X and, potentially, Model E) EVs. This company thinks big.

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Newly awarded patent could mean Google ads that provide transportation options to local businesses

Every year, businesses spend billions of dollars on advertising, often with the goal of getting consumers to their locations to purchase goods or services. While ads can certainly be an effective means of getting people out of their chairs and into their cars, wouldn't it just be easier if the business picked you up?

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