The unique display showcases the Mustangs evolution and the importance of intellectual property rights

Today is May 4th, which might not mean much to you, but it is an important date for the Ford Motor Company.Why is it so important, you ask? It’s important because today the National Inventors Hall of Fame has highlighted Henry Ford along with the presentation of a unique Mustang that is half 1965 and half 2015. Yes, you read that right. Ford has taken a recreation of the 1965 Mustang and fused it with a 2015 Mustang; well, more accurately, the company has fused about 60 percent of each car together.

The whole purpose of the split-aged Mustang is to highlight not only how the Mustang has changed over the years, but to be a part of the permanent Intellectual Property Power Exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The idea is to demonstrate the significance of progress and how trademarks, patents, and other forms of intellectual property make modern amenities possible. Ford was chosen for this display because the company has played such a crucial role in American innovation, and the Mustang because it has been an icon of the automotive world for 50 years.

A little-known fact is that the Mustang was first released without any specific patents granted for its innovation or design. It took advantage of more than 100 patents that existed prior to its creation, but it wasn’t until after more than 1 million examples were sold that Ford decided to pursue patents specific to the Mustang itself.

When speaking of the Mustang, Chris Danowski – the Director of Technology Commercialization and Intellectual Property Licensing for Ford – said, “Everything moved so fast in the design and run-up to production of the original Mustang that there were no styling patents issued back then. Now look at the current car; 2015 Mustang Convertible alone was granted 36 styling patents, which ensure the unique look stays with the car. It also has many unique functional patents for things like the airbag structures, 911 Assist and so many other technologies baked right in.”

Continue reading to learn more about this story.

Why it matters

Ford Puts 1965 And 2015 Mustang Side-By-Side
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Of the patents derived from the Mustang over the years, a number are demonstrated in the split Mustang that is now on display at the museum. It was formed from a left-hand-drive 1965 Mustang and a right-hand-drive 2015 Mustang. Even more importantly, though, is that every visitor to the museum can sit down in each side and compare the differences and similarities in styling, design, and even comfort. Needless to say, it is a pretty big deal.

The whole purpose of the split Mustang and the Intellectual Property Power Exhibit is to express just how important intellectual property rights and laws are. From a creative point of view, intellectual property can be a royal pain in the rump. If you come up with a design or logo, or even a name for a creative piece of work that could be confused with the creation of someone else, you can’t use it. Just look at the issues Jeremy Clarkson and his partners are having with naming their new car show on Amazon. While it is a pain, it also protects the creators of original work so that someone else can’t profit off of the same ideas or concepts.

It’s cool that Ford was chosen to create a display for this exhibit, and the Mustang was, by all means, the perfect choice among all the other Ford models that have come and gone. Now that the split Mustang is in place, I think it’s time they let Chevy do the same with the Camaro. It would be interesting to see the two displays sitting side by side wouldn’t it?

2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang here.

Press Release

Ford and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum (NIHF) are set to unveil a one-of-a-kind Mustang that marries a 1965 model to a 2015 model in a unique side-by-side display for the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum.

Ford Puts 1965 And 2015 Mustang Side-By-Side
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The split-personality Mustang is part of a new, permanent Intellectual Property Power™ Exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame museum on the United States Patent and Trademark Office Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The Mustang, along with other exhibits, Museum exhibits, including the Mustang, celebrate the story of intellectual property and illuminates its significance to progress, innovation, and culture in America, as well as how trademarks, patents, and other forms of intellectual property make modern amenities possible. The interactive display is designed to highlight the importance of patents and the tremendous march of technology over the decades. It calls out various patents in the current vehicle, as well as those in the original pony car.

The NIHF sought out Ford as its partner for the project because the company has played such an important part in the long history of American innovation with the Mustang being such an icon for half a century. Ford and its employee volunteers have also been involved for the past 20 years with Camp Invention, a program of NIHF. Camp Invention is one of the nation’s premier summer enrichment programs and leverages hands-on activities to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and builds 21st century skills.

When Mustang was launched, no specific styling patents were granted. Only after the car proved such a huge success – selling more than 1 million cars in its first 18 months – were styling patents even considered and applied for over time.

“Everything moved so fast in the design and run-up to production of the original Mustang that there were no styling patents issued back then,” says Chris Danowski, Ford director of technology commercialization and intellectual property licensing. “Now look at the current car; 2015 Mustang Convertible alone was granted 36 styling patents, which ensure the unique look stays with the car. It also has many unique functional patents for things like the airbag structures, 911 Assist® and so many other technologies baked right in.”

Ford Puts 1965 And 2015 Mustang Side-By-Side
- image 674787

In 1965, Mustang utilized more than 100 of Ford’s existing functional patents. Those patents reflect some of the touches customers loved back then, including a rear-seat speaker and a power convertible top. Normal conveniences we now take for granted were also involved, like Patent 3,271,540 – the origin of Ford’s self-canceling turn signal.

Today, Mustang is a wellspring of creative design and engineering. The car introduced the first passenger knee airbag system packaged inside the glove box door, with 15 patents granted. It debuted electronic line-lock, along with standard launch control – designed to help bracket racers achieve more consistent performance at the drag strip. Mustang incorporates features specific to modern times, with patented relief in the seat cushion to allow a wallet or phone in an occupant’s back pocket to protrude further into the seat for more comfort.

Many of these patents and more will be illustrated in the display, crafted by Classic Design Concepts, which combines about 60 percent of the driver’s compartment of the original Mustang and about 60 percent that of a new pony car – both including the console area and technology of their times. The left side consists of a reproduction 1965 left-hand-drive Mustang licensed for modern production by Ford and built to the same specifications as the original car – in itself an example of the licensing benefits of intellectual property. The other side is a right-hand-drive 2015 Mustang that is sold in several of the 150 countries where the car is now available.

Visitors to the museum will be able to sit in either side of the car and directly compare features and styling details; From the AM radio, roll-up window, vent air window, and optional retractable color-keyed and seat belts available in 1965, to the working touch screen display in the 2015 model. Some patents and other intellectual property will be displayed on accompanying monitors and over speakers. Visitors to the display will also be able to hear the sounds of the original 1965 Mustang V8 engine and a 2015 Mustang V8 engine at idle.

At the May 4 unveiling ceremony, Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford will also be highlighted at the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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