No sales ban: That’s how much Ford now pays license fees per car

The Munich regional court had imposed a sales and production ban on Ford. Ford was able to avert the sales ban. That’s how much Ford should now pay per car.

Update 6/2/2022:

The ban on the sale of new Ford cars is off the table. Ford acquires the necessary mobile phone technology patents. To this end, Ford enters into a license agreement with Avanci, which administers the disputed patents. Avanci reports this.

Avanci writes: “Ford will gain access to all essential 4G, 3G and 2G standard patents held by the 49 patent holders currently participating in the Avanci licensing program, as well as all patent holders who will join the program in the future to to use them in Ford’s connected vehicles.” Ford is the fifth US automaker to sign such an agreement with Avanci.

The specialist portal KFZ Betriebs, citing Wirtschaftswoche, reports that Ford would pay a license fee of 15 euros per vehicle. This would then cover tens of thousands of patents from 49 rights holders.

Avanci manages numerous patents for mobile technology from different patent holders and takes care of the commercialization of these patents. A number of other car manufacturers have already entered into patent license agreements with Avanci, including the Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Landrover, Volvo and BMW.

update end

Original report from May 23, 2022: District Court of Munich – Sales and production ban for Ford – the reason

Wirtschaftswoche reports that a Munich district court has imposed a Germany-wide sales and production ban on the automobile manufacturer Ford ( Fosspatents provides a detailed classification of the spectacular decision ). The reason: Cellular chips are installed in Ford vehicles, for which Ford does not pay a license fee. Therefore, a total of eight patent holders have sued Ford. The patents relate to the 4G/LTE mobile communications standard.

Japanese patent exploiter IP Bridge is one of the plaintiffs and this company won a victory in the Munich district court on May 19, 2022. IP Bridge now has to deposit a security deposit of 227 million euros with the court so that the judgment can be enforced. According to Wirtschaftswoche, enforcement can be possible in one to two weeks. Unless the parties to the dispute agree. Ford can also appeal.

In the worst case, there is a risk that new vehicles will be scrapped

If the judgment of the 7th chamber under judge Dr. Matthias Zigann is actually enforced, Ford could be forced to recall vehicles from dealers and even destroy them. According to a report by Tagesschau, observers consider the latter to be unlikely.

Ford waits

Ford is now awaiting the written verdict, as Ford informed us when we asked:

“The reason for this court case is the licensing of standard-essential patents for LTE networks. Since the relevant negotiations are ongoing and we do not yet have the written reasoning for the judgment, we do not want to comment on this at this point in time.”

Ford is not alone with this problem, more and more patent holders are suing car manufacturers. Because car manufacturers need mobile communications for their infotainment systems and for eCall.

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