Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

April 2, 2007

I’m Suing The X Prize Foundation

by Brad Warbiany

Because they stole my idea:

The competition requires significant energy and emissions goals (most importantly, fuel economy) with at least 100 mpg or its equivalent. The guidelines are replacing the outdated MPG with this new standard, MPGe, which takes into account energy equivalents, no matter what the energy source.

Production capability is another important requirement: Vehicles will be judged on specific market production criteria detailed in key areas such as safety, cost, features and business plan. So this X Prize will only open to practicable cars capable of reaching the marketplace—no concept cars or science projects.

You may remember that I posted almost the exact same idea here in December 2006, but that was a cross-post of an August 2005 piece I wrote at The Unrepentant Individual.

Mine was structured slightly differently, but nonetheless it was an identical idea. And I didn’t even get mentioned in this news article. Jerks. Any lawyers want to represent me?

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  • Lucas

    Hey there Brad! “Great minds think alike” is what I think we can sum this up to. For the record, the X Prize Foundation has been working on guidelines for their Automotive Prize for several years now–well, before your post in December of last year–and most likely in parallel to your efforts back in August 2005.

    I attended the X Prize Cup last year and they were talking about being near completion on the criteria then…so, I really think it is cool that they are finally implementing this. You’ll see their original blog bringing in the public back in June of 2006 here: http://autoxprize.typepad.com/axp/2006/06/index.html

    Though the original endowments were made well before that.

    I hope that you were one of the folks providing input.. if not–it certainly isn’t too late to get involved with this remarkable group of folks.

    Again, I think this is one of those “Great Minds Think Aline” cases and I hope your cunning sense of humor isn’t misinterpreted as a sign of hostility–but rather a sign of support.

    Anyway, I’ll check back here in your blog to see what your thoughts are. I think the notion of suing a non-profit foundation that is trying to move our technologies forward is kinda weak.

    I’m sure their $10M medical X Prize that they are working on had folks considering other’s ideas as well. (You know, the Nobel Prize–which has a cash award–could be seen as the impetus for this, though I highly doubt that we’ll here anything out of them saying the Genomics X Prize is ripping off the idea from the Nobel Prize in Medicine)–just a thought. Anyway, great minds in this country should be working in concert–not against each other–when trying to revolutionize our backward ways.

    Can you imagine if Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson sued each other over credit for the Declaration of Independence? We might still be British today.

    By all means though, please keep the ranting and dialog… it’ll help push and focus folks’ efforts on getting to a good progress in this area.

    Lastly, were you in the process of starting your own foundation to pursue this? Do you have millions of dollars to offer up? If not, I’d say good job on helping influence those who do have the means to make this a reality–because I sure don’t have the organization, time, (and of course money) to make ideas like this a reality–they do and seem to be able to rally support from the masses.

    Kudos to YOU and the folks at X Prize!

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    LOL… Yes, it’s a joke. I’ve long been a supporter of this method to drive innovation, much preferring it to government expenditure. I wouldn’t sue them over this, nor do I think they actually stole the idea.

  • lucas

    Nice! Hey, did you hear Peter on NPR today?
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9359808

    They’re on the move brother!

    Cheers!

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