When it comes to SYNC and MyFord Touch, this hasn’t been a good year for Ford. The voice-and-touch-screen driver interface has been criticized by consumers, resulting in an abysmal showing for Ford in the latest J.D. Power and Associates initial quality survey. Now a technology company from Washington is suing Ford for patent infringement, alleging that SYNC and related features were developed by them, not Ford.
Eagle Harbor Holdings (EHH) and subsidiary MediusTech accuse Ford of infringing on a total of seven patents, relating to a variety of technologies incorporated into Ford products. EHH alleges that they began development of the technologies more than 10 years ago, and entered into initial dialogue with Ford in 2002. The lawsuit filing claims that Ford ceased communicating with EHH in 2008, and began introducing EHH-developed technologies as soon as 2009. Attempts, via attorneys, to communicate with Ford since 2009 have been rebuffed.
Jeffrey Harmes, general counsel for EHH, summed it up by saying, “We’d much rather do business with Ford as customers than have to file this lawsuit against them. Their business could mean millions.”
The chairman of EHH and his son previously founded a company called Airbiquity, whose technology was used to develop General Motors’ OnStar system. Ford has yet to release a statement regarding the lawsuit filing.