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Billy Durant and the Selden Patent

While reading about Henry Ford's fight against the Selden Patent, I came across the following that may be of interest.

"But Ford was in for a surprise that tested his tenacity and determination. The Selden patent case finally came to trial on May 28, 1909, before Judge Charles Merrill Hough in the federal court for the southern district of New York. Ford’s attorney had been apprehensive about Judge Hough because the jurist did not seem to understand the technical issues in the case. Hough took all summer to review the evidence and then ruled in favor of the Selden interests—that is, the ALAM—on September 15, 1909. It was a crushing blow for Ford and the independent manufacturers who had hoped the patent would be ruled invalid. Most of them deserted Ford. The most important person to surrender was Billy Durant, who had founded General Motors the year before. He made his peace with the ALAM by joining and paying $1 million in back royalties for the car companies now in the GM tent. For most manufacturers, the battle was over, and they reconciled themselves to paying royalties until the expiration of the patent in November 1912."

Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/how-henry-ford-zapped-a-licensing-monopoly#ixzz2QUcRCY7y

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