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Posts Tagged: "Tesla"

Complex IP Challenges in Autonomous Vehicles

On August 16, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it had opened a probe into Tesla’s driver-assistance technologies after it identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which a Tesla vehicle had struck an emergency-response vehicle. All Tesla vehicles involved had been using the automaker’s Autopilot feature at the time of the crashes, which enables the vehicles to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically. The crashes have attracted the scrutiny of lawmakers and regulators of Autopilot and similar technologies. With increased attention being paid to AV safety, AV companies are shifting their research and development and IP strategies toward technologies designed to address consumers’ real-world safety concerns.

Take Steps to Deter the Spy in Your Business

Tesla recently filed two lawsuits for theft of trade secrets. In March, the auto maker sued several former employees and the two companies they joined, Zoox and Chinese EV automaker Xiaopeng. The trade secrets involved their driverless vehicle technology. Haliburton just sued a former employee for stealing information, getting a patent on it, and then trying to sell it back to Haliburton. Phillips is suing a former employee for stealing secrets that will give competitors a “decades long head start.” Waymo, Google’s self-driving car program, settled with Uber for theft of trade secrets. The settlement was reported by CNN Business to be a portion of Uber’s equity, estimated at $245 million. In In August, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Northern District of California charged former Google employee Anthony Levandowski with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google under 18 U.S.C. § 1832 of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). These cases, and many more like them, involve employees leaving and taking trade secrets with them. Employees come and go, but they shouldn’t take your valuable secrets. You can stop them if you have systems in place, but you have only yourself to blame if you don’t.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, March 22: Vanda Action at Supreme Court, Apple Has to Pay, and Senators Express Concerns Over Fourth Estate

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Supreme Court asks for the U.S. Solicitor General’s view on whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101; a jury gives Qualcomm a win in its ongoing patent battle with Apple; the World Intellectual Property Office announces record-breaking totals for international patent applications and cybersquatting actions; Cisco avoids a nearly $60 million damages award at the Federal Circuit; McDonald’s appeals its loss in the EU over its Big Mac trademark; Tesla files trade secret lawsuits against former employees; Peloton faces a copyright suit from music publishers who are seeking $150 million; and Google gets another billion-dollar-plus fine from antitrust regulators in the EU.

Don’t Be Fooled by His Patent Purge: Elon Musk is Just Another Hypocritical Tech Billionaire

In 2014, Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents available for anyone to use for free, stating that “technology leadership is not defined by patents.” Earlier this month, Musk announced again that he had released all of Tesla’s patents, promising the company “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Musk believes patents only serve “to stifle progress” and that by releasing his patents he can help get progress moving again—and that progress will somehow win the fight against climate change. But do patents stifle progress, and will releasing patents really have this result? Patents are a trade with a government. The inventor agrees to disclose the invention to the public in exchange for a limited exclusive right to the invention. No one else can make, use, sell or import the invention without the inventor’s permission. The public interest is served because the invention is publicly disclosed, so anyone can improve the invention and patent that advancement. And anyone can design around it and patent that invention. If the invention has commercial value, no doubt many people will jump in and do one or both.

Other Barks & Bites: IP News to Watch, February 1, 2019

This week in Other Barks & Bites: Huawei is in hot water with both the U.S. and UK governments, while Qualcomm has just completed a new patent licensing deal with Huawei; IBM tops a new global list for most artificial intelligence-related patent applications filed; Apple files another appeal of a major patent infringement damages award handed to VirnetX in the Eastern District of Texas; and see how the biggest IP players are doing Wall Street.

Nikola Accuses Tesla of Design Patent Infringement on Aerodynamic Truck Cabin Features

On April 30th, alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer Nikola Corporation filed a complaint alleging claims of design patent infringement against electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. Filed in the District of Arizona, Nikola’s complaint accuses Tesla of copying various elements of design patents held by Nikola in the area of heavy duty semi truck cabin design.

When Will Wall Street Wake Up to Elon Musk’s Broken Promises?

Reports about Musk’s talks with Cortica comes one day after Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino affirmed his sell rating for Tesla stock on his expectation that Tesla stock would drop by 30 percent over the next six months because of production issues… On the same day that Goldman Sachs reaffirmed its sell rating on Tesla stock, Musk posted a video to Instagram, which is emblematic of the CEO’s Alfred E. Neuman-esque style of response to any perceived corporate turbulence. The video shows Musk in a bar in Jerusalem pouring flaming absinthe. Musk’s Instagram declaration that “Everything’s better with fire …” smacks of the same “What, me worry?” attitude that has allowed him to navigate uncertainty in meeting production goals without eroding shareholder confidence.

Looking Back on Five Years With IPWatchdog

Somewhere near the end of 2011, I responded to an ad that was left on Craigslist. A website called IPWatchdog.com was looking for a writer to contribute content on Apple’s patenting activities… Over the past five years, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be an inventor in today’s patent system. I’ve learned that, unless you have the deep wallets to create advocacy groups which beat the drums for further patent reforms in service to the efficient infringer lobby, you tend to get railroaded by the system… In short, I’ve learned that the United States of today is not the same country where the famed garage inventor can become a business success thanks to hard work and ingenuity. Today, the true beneficiaries of innovation seem to be those well-entrenched interests who can copy without great fear of reprisal, leaving the actual inventors without any true ability to commercialize and profit from their intellectual property.

Tesla continues to rack up patents despite Elon Musk’s supposed distaste for patents

For someone who avoids patents “whenever possible,” Musk and his companies sure do seek patents on a lot of innovations. So why can’t he just be honest about his motivations? Or why doesn’t he come out and explain that innovation demands patents and it just isn’t realistic to invest many millions, or in his case sometimes billions, into research and development if you cannot obtain and exercise exclusive rights? That is, after all, perfectly honest and true. You can’t invest in what you can’t own, and Musk knows that. For some reason he just doesn’t seem all that interested in his fans and shareholders realizing that undeniable truth.

Following the money trail from Mapbox to the Kushners and Trump Administration

There are clearly many thousands of companies both large and small with far greater experience and in a far better position to advise Congress on the issue of patent reform. So why Mapbox? As is so frequently the case whenever business and politics intersect, follow the money! We have done just that and we’ve found that a no-name, no-experience company like Mapbox, without any patent applications and no patent litigation experience became thrust into the public debate over patents because all the money people behind Mapbox are card carrying members of the anti-patent efficient infringer lobby.

Innography report pegs Salesforce.com, Tesla as top innovative firms

This list of top innovators put together by Forbes has been further refined by intellectual property analytics firm Innography to take a more objective, data-based approach in determining the world’s most innovative firms. In a report titled How Innovative Are They?, Innography takes the top five companies on Forbes’ list (Tesla, Salesforce.com, Regeneron, Incyte and Alexion, respectively) and measured them against six metrics: number of inventions; number of inventors; inventor locations; patents per inventor; and a metric Innography refers to as PatentStrength, a measure of both patent quality and filing activity.

Tesla battery patents further proof of Elon Musk’s duplicitous views on patents

Like so many other critics of the patent system, Musk seems to despise all patents except for his own. Of course, Musk never said he avoids patents altogether, just whenever possible. But if you look at his enterprises, including Tesla, it is hard to detect evidence of patent avoidance of any kind at any time. So when Musk speaks on patents it is nothing more than encouraging people to do as he says not as he and his companies do for themselves. I guess you might say that Elon Musk doesn’t like other people’s patents, but his are perfectly OK.

The new Elon Musk master plan for Tesla reeks of overconfidence

Elon Musk’s updated master plan reeks of overconfidence. He envisions entire fleets of autonomous Tesla vehicles while missing recent sales targets by thousands of units. He wants to pump massive amounts of money into R&D for autonomous technologies and new types of vehicles, but the company is having trouble with bleeding warranty costs which are double the amount seen at Ford or GM. The lack of timeline details in the master plan was not well received by financial analysts and Tesla stock was down by 3 percent in the days after the announcement.

Autonomous Cars – Patents and Perspectives

The recent Model 3 announcement by Tesla took the industry by storm and saw Tesla collecting a whopping $276 million in preorders in a matter of days. In focus in particular was the autopilot features on the new Tesla car – which meant that Autonomous Cars (a.k.a. driverless cars or self-driven cars) are finally breaching the line between concept and mainstream… Though efforts have escalated significantly in the last five years, autonomous cars are not a new concept. Initial research can be traced back all the way to the 1920s.

Nikola Tesla, an American immigrant and one of the most important inventors ever

It is no understatement to say that Nikola Tesla is one of the most important inventors of all time. From electricity to radio broadcasts to wireless transmissions, there was no aspect of the technological world during the late 19th century that weren’t somehow touched by Tesla. During his life, Tesla earned 111 U.S. patents and held about 300 patents from countries across the globe. Drones, robotics and wireless power transmission, things that Tesla envisioned, are still being developed today. Without the important contributions of this immigrant inventor, there’s no question that American innovation would have lagged significantly in the early 1900s.