Please join Squire Patton Boggs for the next session in our Autonomous Driving Series.

The automotive industry is the third largest research and development (R&D) spender in the US, with car and truck manufacturers and component makers being the traditional sources of such investments. As the importance of electronic and battery technology to the automotive industry has grown, however, R&D investment from the technology sector has increased in parallel. The past couple of years have likewise seen automakers, suppliers and technology companies entering into collaborative partnerships at a level previously unforeseen. Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) in some ways necessitate cross-industry alliances and research partnerships.

These increasing levels of R&D investment in CAV technology have naturally led to surges in patent applications from both the automotive and technology industries. Some of these patents may no doubt prove to be fundamental building blocks. As with other nascent technology – think telecommunications, IT and smart phones – the rush to patent new innovations has led to patent wars. Is the CAV arena next? If so or even if only a possibility, how can such wars be avoided?

Our panel of experts from various sectors of the CAV industry will discuss:

  • Who are the early leaders in CAV technology patents and patent applications?
  • In the absence of broad CAV industry participation in one or more standard setting organizations (SSOs) that require participants’ commitments to FRAND licensing, what are companies doing to ensure freedom to operate?
  • How are businesses assessing whether to license technology in or out from/to others who are, or who may become, competitors?
  • Will the absence of broad adoption of standards impact the usefulness of CAV technology? For example, will vehicles claimed to be “connected” truly be connected?

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Sven Beiker, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Mobility
  • Alex Fishkin, General Counsel, Luminar Technologies
  • Stefan Heck, CEO, Nauto
  • Chris Storm, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, Uber

David S. Elkins, chair of our global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice, will moderate the panel.