At Sustainable Business Oregon I came across Fuel cell company IdaTech files patent lawsuit, the patent infringement case against its former chief technical officer (David Edlund) and his new company (E1, LLC [or Element One]). More details are available in this press release: IdaTech Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Element One and David Edlund.
But I noticed that one on the list of 87 was a Design patent: D623,103 - Vehicle fender flare (see below.)
I really don't know why a fuel cell company is patenting designs for automotive fender flares, but it's not my money!
The second thing I thought I'd check is how frequently fuel cell companies sue each other. This IdaTech lawsuit seems to be the first that I've ever noticed. I only found found two other cases on Google:
- In 2002 Lynntech Inc. lost a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Hydrogenics Corporation. Lynntech accused Hydrogenics of infringing two United States patents relating to fuel cell testing. The court ruling establishes that Hydrogenics did not infringe either of the asserted Lynntech patents.
- In 2008 Relion, Inc. withdrew their patent infringement case against Hydra Fuel Cell Corporation in a patent case involving hot swappable fuel cell technology.
So it looks like not only is fuel cell technology an emerging market, but so is fuel cell patent litigation!