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June 26, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Ford Repossessing Car Patent | Radio Interview with WHO Radio | John Rizvi

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So now we thought we would talk about vehicles that can repossess themselves. No, no, really–joining us to talk about that is a regular guest on our show. He is The Patent Professor, his name is John Rizvi. Welcome back, John. How are you?

Yeah, terrific. Always great to be here.

Always good to have you.

So apparently, Ford is planning to build vehicles that can repossess themselves, which will upset a lot of towing companies, I'm sure.


Yeah, so they have a patent application that shows a vehicle that does exactly what you say repossesses itself. But it's funny that the repossession is like the last resort, but I just can't get over all their minor steps that they take before they repossess and I don't know, if you have if you have time tonight…

Yeah, we do.

We can go over a couple. So, you know, if you don't pay your bills, your car payment, one of their options is to turn off your air conditioning. Before it gets repossessed, it has a computer—the patent said it’s a computer that will turn off your air conditioning.

That's hysterical.


Oh my god, as a lawyer…

We’re gonna roast you out of your vehicle!

Roast you until you make your car payment. The other one's not as absurd. It's locking you out of the car. The car, that computer can lock you out. This one is, I think, crazy. It will emit—and I'm reading directly from the patent—emit an incessant unpleasant sound from the car radio until you call your bank. You can't turn it off. You're behind on your payments. Now, you have no option but to drive around with it. And they, you know, they don't explain what the sound is. A good patent attorney keeps things broad. So it could be anything that's annoying, right?


This is really fascinating, isn't it? I mean, I'm only partially tongue in cheek when I say that towing companies are going to be very upset. Because if it gets to the point where Ford sends a signal and says, “Come home,” or whatever, and the vehicle starts itself up and heads out to go back from whence it came, that's going to be a sight to see doesn't isn't it?

I had a professor in law school once who said that you can't make up that all his exams come from real life because the stuff in real life is so crazy that he can't even make it up. If this vehicle has been called back there, there's no payment, so “come home,” and it's on its way, and the owner interferes—and the patent doesn't go into what interference would be—the vehicle automatically calls the police. So you get the police called by a robot. And it's going to help, I guess, electronic vehicles from the owner interfering in the repossession. The vehicle trying to repossess itself, the owner gets in the way and the vehicle calls the police.


None of these people have ever seen a Terminator movie is all I have to say.


All right, John. We have the smartest audience in talk radio. And somebody has just texted me on our American Top and Accessories Text Line 515-989-1040. And he or she says if I buy the vehicle outright, is that programming deleted?


Oh, good. Good question. The patent doesn't talk about that. But that is a really good question.


Yeah, well, first of all, it should never be repossessed. But here's the thing—

Wait, wait, you just said never. You know programming can go wrong.

None of us have ever seen a computer malfunction Right? Even if it's paid in full, I completely agree with that listener. I would want this program off the car completely because I don't want it malfunctioning. Turning off the air conditioning. Who knows what else, like?

Exactly, exactly. Someone says this is like the Canadian truckers or if the government does not like your politics, they can shut your vehicle off. Someone has put on my brand new tinfoil hat for that one. Conspiracy theory. Yes. Once the technology is out there you see everyone just assumes the government's got access to it.

And here's the beauty, I think, of the patent system is when a patent is published, it's open for anybody to see. So they can't keep this confidential once the patent is published. I think it's a PR nightmare for them. So they've come forward and said they have no current plans to deploy this. And that they submit patents all the time on inventions as a normal course of business, but they're not necessarily an indication of products that are coming. So I think that's just the standard disclaimer that has to be made. But it's still causing quite an uproar, because these are these are, you know, especially from a liability in injury standpoint, like these, just imagine some of the malfunctions. Some of the things they talk about, is even being able to control the brakes, the accelerator, the lights, the cruise control, windows, I mean, can you like imagine a window malfunctioning and you're at Starbucks trying to try to get your, your latte and all of a sudden, some signal gets crossed, and instead of the car behind you somehow your vehicle gets the signal to close the window and there you are with your hand out the window trying to get your your cappuccino, whatever and then, “Yikes.” Like this, this definitely seems to be a risky thing to actually implement.


Well, it's certainly very interesting. I do keep telling you we have the smartest audience in talk radio. They say good country songs include a guy's wife leaving them. Now that trucks can too. Yes, I think we could be in for the truck leaving you. John, you are The Patent Professor, tell us what that means.


Yeah, so I protect new ideas, patents, trademarks and brands. And any of your listeners can find us on Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, under The Patent Professor. The website is The Patent Professor as well. I love protecting new ideas. Hopefully if you have smart listeners, I don't want anything else that repossess itself; we don't want repossessing, you know, cars that repossess themselves, homes that eject, you know, that trapdoor opens up and all of a sudden the family gets sucked out into the basement because you're behind behind on your rent—like. nothing like that. If they have good ideas that actually are good for society in general, then I'd love to protect them.

Okay, and remember, Ford said they're not no plans to deploy this but keep an eye on it just in case they do. And as our texter said, if you buy a vehicle outright, you would need to insist and get it in writing that they have removed all programming that enables them to repossess your vehicle by itself. John, thanks very much. Always a pleasure. Always a lot of fun having you on. I appreciate it. You take care, all right?

All right, you too.

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