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Old 01-17-2009, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: The Wet Coast, Kanuckistan.
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The Golden Egg - '93 Toyota Previa DX
90 day: 31.91 mpg (US)

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I actually corresponded to a lawyer who specializes in patent law and is an activist in the area of patent abuse and it turns out patents are use it or lose it to some extent. I asked him about the Texaco patent sitting on the ovonic batteries. The problem is they are manufacturing the ovonic batteries and using them to hybridize some courier trucks. (Purolater perhaps?)

Since GM sold the patent they can just say that they are too expensive to buy or are not a "fit" for their product or just design the cars "wrong" Never mind that there are still 700ish RAV4s kicking around, some with over 120 000 miles on their battery packs. Just try to pry an owner from their RAV4 EV.

One ray of sunshine to this story is this:
Cobasys is the only seller of nickel metal hydride batteries in North America, a competitive advantage it will hold until 2010, when a court settlement barring Matsu****a Electronic Industrial Co., Panasonic EV Energy Co. and Toyota Motor Co. from selling the batteries in North America is lifted.
Part of a story on Cobasys here:
The real problem IMO is that corporations have too much freedom. Corporate charters used to be granted for specific purposes and if the company was doing bad stuff, like patent sitting, the government could yank the charter or change it. As it is they can pretty much do what ever they want, people having forgotten the whole purpose of incorporation (to make sure these organizations don't use their power improperly against the public) and governments loath to do anything lest they be called anti business and purloined in the, you guessed it, corporate owned media.

A sad state of affairs really.
Vortex generators are old tech. My new and improved vortex alternators are unstoppable.

"Itís easy to explain how rockets work but explaining how a wing works takes a rocket scientist."
-Philippe Spalart

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