Autonomous automobiles could soon become a reality. Scott Keogh, Head of Audi America, announced that Audi will have a self-driving car on the market by 2020 while NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang predicted that fully autonomous vehicles will be on the road before 2022. Legislators are at least trying to pave the way for self-driving cars: Since 2012, at least 41 states and Washington D.C. have drafted legislation directed towards accommodating autonomous vehicles.
Research dollars are pouring into autonomous automobile technology. According to the Brookings Institution, at least $80 billion had been invested in driverless car technology from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2017. Demand for related patents could skyrocket: It was recently reported that close to 150 patents owned by French Sovereign Patent fund (SPF) France Brevets were sold to Didi Chuxing, Uber’s major competitor in the Chinese market.
This session provides a review of many facets of patents that cover a wide array of technologies associated with autonomous automobiles.
The following are among the issues discussed:
- Timeline for the rollout of the various permutations of self-driving vehicles as well as a discussion of possible roadblocks to such rollouts.
- Developments occurring with relevant standards essential bodies.
- Pros and cons of patenting versus trade secreting autonomous automobile technologies.
- Appropriateness, or lack thereof, of protecting such inventions with copyrights.
- Eligibility issues related to patenting self-driving inventions.
- Best practices for drafting patents covering autonomous vehicles including crafting descriptions and claims.
- Insight into allowance rates and frequency of office actions related to autonomous vehicle patents.
- Risks of the U.S. government exercising its march-in rights.
- Vulnerabilities of autonomous automobile patents to invalidity challenges.
- Difficulties associated with detecting infringement.
- A walk-through of relevant patent landscaping.
- Highlights from the Waymo / Uber dispute including a discussion of the terms of their settlement.
Course Leader: Tyson B. Benson, Patent Attorney, Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.
Mr. Benson has nearly a decade of experience as a Patent Attorney. His practice is focused on providing patent protection and portfolio management strategies for his clients’ most important technologies. He is also regularly involved in securing trademark protection, negotiating profitable licensing agreements, providing litigation support and conducting freedom to operate analyses. Clients appreciate Mr. Benson’s ability to frame their valuable intellectual property assets within the bigger picture of their total business strategy.
Mr. Benson takes pride in serving clients that range from start-ups to universities to Fortune 500 companies. As a patent attorney who began his career as a Computer Engineer, he understands the importance of innovation and has the technical expertise to serve clients from virtually any industry. He is highly regarded for being an enthusiastic advocate for his clients’ work and for safeguarding their assets through the approvals process and onto the open market.