No danger from obvious patents!

Posted on May 30, 2008


I’ve been worrying about patent infringement right from the beginning of this project. But now I can rest easy, because the two main distinctive traits of the project belong in the public domain and therefore cannot be used for legal prosecution: the Serial Hybrid Electric Vehicle and the Wheel Motor!! 🙂

Back in 1900, while working for Ludwig Lohner in Austria, Ferdinand Porsche built his first car, and it was an Electric Serial Hybrid Vehicle, with electric wheel motors!!! He won several competitions and set land speed records with it.

Fig. 1 – Two wheel drive hybrid version of the “Lohner-Porsche Mixte”, probably in competition.

(copyright Porsche)

He first developed it as a full electric car with 2 wheel drive, adapting a traditional horse coach, as was customary in those days.

Fig. 2 – The 2 wheel drive electric car, probably in

the Technical Museum in Vienna, Austria.


Fig. 3 – Close up of the wheel motors, and another version.


Fig. 4 – The 4 wheel drive hybrid version, a monster of 1500kg.


Fig. 5 – The inside of the wheel motor, which he designed in 1896.

(copyright Porsche)

What does this mean to me, and to every one wanting to build (or even sell) Serial Hybrids and/or Wheel Motors? It means that these 2 concepts belong in the public domain, and patent infringement will only be a problem if we copy some kind of specific modern enhancement.

Obviously, consultation of the patent databases is a must for anyone with commercial expectations.