Ford’s Sync doesn’t get a break. It attracted undue attention from LaHood’s distracted driving crusade. Consumer Reports had issues with the system. Sync sank Ford in the 2011 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. Can it get any worse?
Yes, it can. Ford is being sued for patent infringement.
Bainbridge Island-based Eagle Harbor Holdings has filed a lawsuit against Ford, alleging infringement of seven patents. The company says that Ford infringed on seven of its patents for the technology behind Sync and some other safety technologies such as Active Park Assist, Blind-Spot Identification System with Cross Traffic Alert, Integrated Control System for Stability Control, and MyKey.
According to the Seattle Times, Eagle Harbor began developing the technologies more than 10 years ago. Talks between Eagle Harbor and Ford began in 2002, says the lawsuit. According to the filing, Ford stopped communication with Eagle Harbor in 2008 and began incorporating the technology into its products over the next year.
Does that mean Ford will be out of Sync? Not really. Should Ford lose, it will be out of a little money.
“We’d much rather do business with Ford as customers than have to file this lawsuit against them. Their business could mean millions,” said Jeffrey Harmes, general counsel for Eagle Harbor.
Eagle Harbor founders Dan and Joe Preston also founded Airbiquity, a Seattle vehicle-services technology company, in 1997. The Seattle Times says that “Airbiquity’s technology is in General Motors’ OnStar wireless platform, which connects motorists to information services.”