Media Coverage | 02/11/2019

Brooks Kushman Shareholder Says Auto Makers Likely Won’t Battle One Another Like the “Smartphone Wars”

Team Contact: John LeRoy

  • Automotive
  • Autonomous and Mobility Technology
  • patent-litigation

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Brooks Kushman Shareholder John LeRoy was quoted in a Law360 February 7, 2019 article, “The Next Big Patent War? It Likely Won’t Be In Detroit.”

The article discusses whether the auto industry will follow the example of smartphone companies, engaging automakers in patent battles over emerging technologies like self-driving and connected cars. The number of patents awarded to large car makers have sharply increased over the past five years, but LeRoy does not see that as an indication that companies are preparing for patent litigation.

LeRoy said, “he doesn’t interpret the patent activity as a sign that companies are ‘preparing for Armageddon.’” He notes in the article that companies can have a variety of motives to be driven to obtain patents, including defensive purposes and old-fashioned innovation. LeRoy also said that, because the auto industry is so tight-knit, manufacturers would rather resolve their disputes rather than litigate them in court.

With over 20 years of software, patent and copyright experience, LeRoy is recognized for his IP management strategies and work in the courtroom. LeRoy leverages his electrical engineering and legal backgrounds to resolve complex legal issues in the automotive and computer industries.  He worked with automotive manufactures to create the SmartDeviceLink Consortium, a thriving new organization of auto manufacturers and suppliers managing an open source software project to standardize communication between smart devices and automobiles. He also started his firm’s Open Source Software Compliance practice, where he works with corporations to navigate the proper use of open source software in today’s products. He has been recognized for his commitment to pro bono service and his history of success in federal courts nationwide. He was also recently recognized as Michigan IP Litigator of the Year.

The full article can be found on the Law360 website here.

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