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Friday, October 19, 2007

UAW letter #1

Subject: Union Empowerment Using Intellectual Property

Application to General Motors Negotiations

Dear Mr. Segal:

GM has a $6B a year R&D and aggressive patent program intent on capturing its share of the upcoming improved fuel efficiency push. It currently owns 10,339 patents and has 337 patent applications in the works. That is a huge portfolio.

Surprisingly, GM is not leveraging this patent portfolio for billions of dollars in annual royalties as do many other international corporations. I have always suspected the automotive industry of passivity and collusion; to the detriment of the employees, America and its stockholders.

My plea for Mr. Gettelfinger as GM pressures for more and more Labor concessions is to ask for an equal ownership stake in GM’s intellectual property portfolio for Labor. It is grossly undervalued on their books and possibly under-appreciated by GM’s management. It is currently used as a shield only to protect their turf and not, as it should, also a sword to garner large new revenues from competitors. Labor should share in its patent portfolio ownership, powers and enforcement; forging a true marriage in this fight for mutual survival.

GM 2006 Annual Report

December 31, 2006                                                   Values in Millions
Amortizing intangible assets:                                       Amount                   Amortization
Patents and intellectual property rights                        $ 488                         $ 169  

Intellectual Property," GM has established aggressive near-, mid- and long-term

plans to develop and bring to market technologies designed to further improve

fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and provide additional value and benefits to

our customers. These include enhancements to conventional internal combustion

engine technology such as Active Fuel Management, variable valve timing

systems, and six-speed automatic transmissions. In addition, GM currently

offers hybrid-electric buses that are capable of improving the fuel efficiency

of city buses by 25% to 50% and reducing some emissions by as much as 90%.


Research, Development and Intellectual

Property In 2006, GM incurred $6.6 billion in costs for research, manufacturing

engineering, product engineering, design, and development activities related

primarily to developing new products or services or improving existing products

or services, including activities related to vehicle emissions control,

improved fuel economy, and safety of drivers and passengers in GM vehicles.

Labor should not be asked by GM to continually grant concessions without affording Labor a say in affecting its future recovery. The muscle of America is its “know-how”, legalized in patent rights and founded in the Constitution. This “know-how” was created by the People for the People and corporate America has wrongly confiscated it and taken it overseas. Labor must bargain to retain a say in its “know-how”. As GM aggressively seeks to stake its patent claims in clean fuel technology, let Labor share that claim stake and thus secure their mutual future.


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