An interesting story for the collection of historical patent fights.
Selden had a patent for a three cylinder motor vehicle that allowed George Selden to collect royalties from all American car manufacturers. The car manufacturers were paying Selden's holding company (Association of Licensed Automotive Manufacturers or ALAM) for the patent licensing rights to build cars.
The article further comments:
The patent was questionable, George Selden had never built a car.
An interesting criteria as also contemporary patent law does not require a proof of concept. Read the whole story on:
And we found an article which argues:
It was not merely to save? the royalty demanded by the Trust for the right to manufacture gasoline automobile under the Selden patents, for the enormous funds paid out in legal expenses by the Ford Motor Co., in fighting unaided and alone the Selden patents, would have paid the royalty on thousands of cars; but because Mr. Ford was an originator of the gasoline driven automobile, and build and operated cars …. the so called Selden patents; because he had spent a lifetime in developing the gasoline car and because he knew it was the product of his own brain and no man on earth was entitle to any "rake off" from that particular car.
Or the NYTIMES from 13 Feb 1910
Another chapter in the now famous Selden patent litigation, that has divided the automobile makers of the United States into the "licensed" and "unlicensed" camps, was provided last night by a statement from Henry Ford…
Now, you can see times didn't change much. For startups patents are still a pain and Ford still sells cars. Patents are as trivial, useless and dangerous for the industry as they were in the old times.