Heated Windscreens?

I've just had a windscreen replaced by Autoglass, first class service.
However, it reminded me of an option I had on a car in the 80s, an
Escort Ghia, which had a heated windscreen. (It may have been an Orion, I had one a little later.) I've not seen the option on any of the cars I've had since- admittedly not Fords but all 'decent spec' cars with other gizmos.
The Ford one was excellent. The wires were very fine, you didn't notice them unless you looked for them, and it it worked vary well.
Why didn't hadn't they 'caught on'?
I knew someone who had his standard screens replaced on his new vehicles (VW vans used for business) by a localish company, so I assume after market ones are available- at least for some vehicles.
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On 13/06/2018 12:30, Brian Reay wrote:

somehow ford patented them.
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Yes - was quite surprised to find a very posh BMW didn't have one. I'd guess the patent covers the way of making the element near invisible. But surprised no-one has found a way round it.
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On 13/06/2018 13:14, Dave Plowman (News) wrote: <snip>

Crikey. I never knew 'er indoors 2000 Fiesta with Quickclear windscreen had been so posh :)
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On 13/06/18 13:14, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

It is a shame Ford didn't do as Volvo did with the three point seat belt and allow other makers to use it.
I wonder how the after market ones get around the patent? I never took any notice of the ones my friend used to have fitted so I don't know if they were like the Ford ones. Sadly, he is no longer alive. They must be available as one of the questions Autoglass asked was if mine was heated (along with 'acoustic glass' etc ?)
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On 13/06/2018 13:36, Brian Reay wrote:

Surely if Ford have got the patent and other manufactures do no fit heated windscreens there would be no switch/power for a after market heated screen to connect to on non-Ford vehicles?
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On 13/06/2018 18:43, alan_m wrote:

Adding a switch, relay, and fuse etc is hardly rocket science. I remember in the days before heated rear screens were standard, your could buy 'stick on' ones and even earlier one that looked like a towel rail which fixed along the parcel shelf. (A car my dad had one, must have been in the 60's.)
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That’s not the whole answer though. My last Jag had one but only because Jag had been owned by Ford for a while. My wife’s Škoda has one though and they’ve never been owned by Ford. I understand it is an option of some upmarket “French” cars too.
Tim
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On 13/06/18 18:42, Tim+ wrote:

Caterham 7's have them as well.
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I'd guess they use a stock windscreen from a more common vehicle. Like so many of their other bits.
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On 16/06/18 11:08, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

It's a bit small. Can't think of what donor vehicle it came from if it did.
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On 16-Jun-18 11:08 AM, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Can't think of any other production vehicle that has a flat glass screen. https://caterhamparts.co.uk/windscreens-aeroscreens/1386-windscreen-assembly-black-frame-s3.html
http://www.heatedwindscreen.com/
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On 16/06/18 17:15, Peter Hill wrote:

The original Fiat Panda did.
It was copied by Seat.
True, not a current production car.
I remember the flat glass being mentioned in either the Fiat 'bumpf' of perhaps some review as part of the economy build features. We had one, well my wife did, which she loved. I wasn't a bad little car. Easy to work on etc. True it was from the era when Fiats suffered from rust. Some boy racer drove into her and wrote it off.
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On 13/06/2018 13:14, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Sony trinitron !!
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On 13-Jun-18 1:14 PM, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Yes for the specific type with wires embedded in the laminate. They have lots of process patents for printed/deposited conductive film as found on rear screens and busbars round the edge for connection to the conductor.

No one needs to find a way round it. Quickclear (Ford TM) was introduced in 1985 on the Scorpio/Granada MkIII. Whatever the patent content was it is immaterial as it expired at least 13 years ago and is now PUBLIC DOMAIN. It can't be called "Quickclear" or "Instaclear" as Ford have trademarked those names and trademarks last forever.
That's how patents work. You apply for grant of patent and when granted it is published - everyone can see the content. You are granted a monopoly for 20 years so long as you pay the fees. Renewal fees are payable from year 5 and go up each year, they aren't a lot but start at £90 in year 5 and go up to £610 in year 20 but it helps stop people squatting. All those claims that some big oil co bought and suppressed a patent for running cars on water are hogwash. It's not possible to suppress a patent as they are published, even the application is published.
Problem is the "not invented here" syndrome and as there is a big sign stuck up for 20 years that says "KEEP THE FOFF" there may be many years before it gets used by other makers. Very few firms firms keep a countdown to expiry of desirable but not worth paying for patents and make plans to implement on date of expiry. If its worth having it's usually worth licensing while patented unless the patent holder sees it as a major marketing/selling point - people are walking though the door demanding it. Then there is issue of supply chain. Other makers have different supplier of windscreens and they don't offer the screen as their process won't make it without a large outlay in new plant.
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On 13/06/18 12:39, MrCheerful wrote:

Ah, that explains it. I've not bought a Ford since the Orion. I'm not 100% sure if the Orion had one. I liked Fords, although the local dealer experience wasn't all it could be. After the Orion we had an Espace which would really have benefited from a heated screen. Excellent car in other ways- very flexible, we sometimes regret selling it.
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On 13-Jun-18 12:39 PM, MrCheerful wrote:

Where they were based on joint venture product VW Sharan / SEAT Alhambra / Ford Galaxy?
The Ford Galaxy Quickclear screen would have had fitted all of them.
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On 13/06/2018 12:30, Brian Reay wrote:

My wife's 2000 (W) Ford Puma has got a heated screen whose wires are pretty much invisible. I've no idea whether they're available on later cars - I don't recall having seen any.
There have been vast improvements in heating/air-con/climate control systems in the last 20 years making it relatively easy to direct hot dry air at frozen screens, and cold dry air at misted-up screens. So maybe heated screens - which consume a lot of electricity - have become redundant?
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On 13/06/2018 20:18, Roger Mills wrote:

No, most fords still have them, they turn off if the power is low, and only stay on for 5 minutes in any case. It is certainly possible to get heated windscreens for certain cars other than ford, if you look into rallying suppliers, they list them.
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On 13/06/2018 20:18, Roger Mills wrote:

I don't think so - pretty well suited to a UK frosty morning when it's too cold for the AC to kick in, the engine's cold, and the driver starts breathing.
Not sure how much electricity they use - maybe 400w, and quite manageable for a modern car? Can't be much more than heated seats. It's one thing I'd quite like in my Audi.
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