Cat Box: Caterpillar's cabs alone have all types of technology from displays to hydraulics to GPS where the company has one of the largest patent porfolios.
No, not for household pets, though maybe that's not a bad idea. The cat licenses here are from Caterpillar, Inc. Licensing intellectual property has become popular in recent years as companies opt to leverage developments by others that have already plowed new ground in technology. Caterpillar has done a lot of heavy lifting in areas as diverse as painting, electronic packaging, emission control, virtual reality, and hydraulics. Cat is hoping to get extra life from the more than 3,000 patents it's developed in recent years. The tiny Technology Licensing group (www.cat.com/products/shared/technology_products/technology_licensing/technology_licensing.html) has spent the last couple of years putting its broad portfolio together, arranging about 50 deals and cross licensing agreements with universities and businesses. Now, the group is ready to aggressively market its broad portfolio of technologies. And as it does so, it joins IBM, Honeywell, and Delphi Automotive. Each of these companyies already has a brisk licensing business.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.