Auto IP Lawsuits On The Rise

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
auto ip lawsuits on the rise

The Oakland Business Review [via] reports that intellectual property-related lawsuits are on the rise. Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Ann Arbor says the car industry has abandoned their previous tendency to settle technology-based patent infringement disputes out of court. "Before the year 2000 there were sporadic [auto IP] cases, maybe one, at the most two every year and often zero," says managing partner Steve Oberholtzer. "In the period from 2000 to 2007 there were 46 cases." Oberholtzer says the increase is down to outsourcing. "Now that the suppliers have more of an investment in engineering, they're more likely to want to protect their investment." Talk about a sign of the times…

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  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Mar 14, 2008

    And yet another way the D3 hurt themselves by gouging R&D...

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Mar 14, 2008

    Good for the suppliers. Maybe GM should study how IBM outsourced the operating system for their new PC division to a small company called Microsoft (IBM's 2nd choice) for a flat fee of 40 or 80 thousand dollars instead of doing it in house. That seemed to work real well for IBM.

  • Flanken Flanken on Mar 14, 2008

    Well, I suppose that means more billable time for me when I start work later this year.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Mar 14, 2008

    Interesting.... in the IT field, there are plenty of examples of once innovative companies that are now nothing but IP lawsuit mills. Example number one... SCO. I wonder if the US auto manufactures are going to follow, becoming nothing but IP holders of their past glories?