NEWS: Ford and Geely Reach Agreement on Volvo’s Intellectual Property Rights

November 30, 2009
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Good news for Chinese automaker Geely: It may have cleared one of the largest hurdles in purchasing Swedish automaker Volvo from the Ford Motor Company. According to a Europe-based Geely spokesman, the two firms have come to an agreement regarding Volvo’s intellectual property rights.
Previously, we said initial reports suggested Geely may acquire intellectual property rights for Volvo, and it now seems those reports were accurate. The Geely spokesman said that if the sale goes through, Geely will take control of all technologies developed exclusively for Volvo. Volvo will also continue to access any Ford technology critical to the brand’s future development (we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford’s inflatable seat belts in future Volvos), but Geely won’t be allowed to implement the same technology in its own product lines.
Overcoming the intellectual property rights debate marks a major milestone in Ford’s possible sale of Volvo to Geely. Intellectual property rights have been a major stumbling block for other Chinese companies looking to acquire American-owned brands. Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation cited intellectual property rights as the reason its attempt to acquire Opel fell through.
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