open source and Henry Ford

Fascinating. I’ve heard about several inventions that Ford himself was involved in that he thought should be shared across all car makers. 

Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:

From: Sara Winge <>
Date: January 24, 2011 1:26:50 PM EST
To: Dale Dougherty <>
Subject: open source and Henry Ford

just saw this in the wikipedia entry for open source–thought you might find it useful for make, and maker faire detroit in particular:

In the early years of automobile development, a group of capital monopolists owned the rights to a 2 cycle gasoline engine patent originally filed by George B. Selden.[4] By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit. In 1911, independent automaker Henry Ford won a challenge to the Selden patent. The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association) was formed.[4] The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers.[4] Until the US entered World War 2, 92 Ford patents were being used freely by other manufacturers and were in turn making use of 515 patents from other companies, all without lawsuits or the exchange of money.[4]

Sara Winge
VP, O’Reilly Radar, O’Reilly Media, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 707.827.7109,,,

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