Ford Stops Chinese F-150 Pickup Clone with Chinese Patents

Ford F-150 clone 1 photo
Wow, what a story this is! Chinese automakers are coping European and American cars left and right. We’ve seen them crudely imitate everything from the Mercedes E-Class to the Renault Zoe electric car, and it seems nobody is safe from those dread spies with a tape measure.
Just when we thought the situation was helpless, Ford lands a crucial blow agains China’s JAC, who as we reported back in January were working on bringing their 4R3 truck to the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and afterwards to Chinese consumers.

The pickup truck was an obvious clone, even offering a blue oval badge. But Ford landed their crucial blow agains the copycats and while speaking with Autoline host John McElroy, Bill Coughlin, President and CEO of Ford Global Technologies and Intellectual Property Chief, revealed how.

"You need patents and they are country specific, so that you need to get patents filed in China as well, and frankly, we built up quite a portfolio in trying to protect us. You don't see Ford being ripped off in China," Coughlin said.

Sounding quite proud of their achievement, the Ford exec said added : "There were a couple of press reports that 'oh', at the Beijing Auto Show there's going to be an F-150 clone. It didn't happen. Not going to happen."

It seems that the key to stopping the copycats is local patents in China, and indeed we haven’t seen Ford copies.

"We did our job. There was good global teamwork. So, yes, we can protect ourselves in China, it’s not easy, but you can do it. Is it expensive? Not really, I mean, it would be less than filing here [U.S.]," Coughlin said.

Story via Carscoop
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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