As sophisticated technology reshapes the industry, we assess the increasingly core role of intellectual property for car makers
The emergence of new automotive technologies including in respect of connectivity and autonomy and the ‘electric revolution’ is undoubtedly a key factor in driving investment, disruption and R&D in the industry. Such technology now touches on all aspects of automotive development; from new in-car sensors, cameras and inter-connected devices to new propulsion or fuel systems. With this technology comes intellectual property (“IP”) rights of material value, protection of which is likely to be critical for any industry participant’s commercial strategy, freedom to operate (including with regards the launch of any vehicles embodying new technologies) and R&D investment returns.
Following on from the previous edition of our series of articles (see Views on an evolving automotive industry – standards and essential patents) which looked at evolving technology standards in the industry and the patents and FRAND licensing issues involved, this article considers the necessary elements of a successful IP strategy and the heightened importance of such a strategy in the context of an industry where new systems and technologies are taking centre stage.
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© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021