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Toyota is investing most heavily in EV and autonomous tech, study suggests

As the automotive industry trends toward electric and autonomous vehicles, manufacturers are heavily investing in new technologies and lapsing their internal-combustion-engine-related patents. Angela Morris, Deputy Editor with IAM Media, talked with Bineet Bhasin, Vice President of IP Strategy and Technology at UnitedLex, about this evolution in patent strategy for the auto industry.

Much of their conversation revolves around the report, Patent Insights From Times of Industry Transformation: The UnitedLex Automotive US Patent Lapse Analysis, Volume 3. To quote Morris,

“Carmakers are aggressively pruning patent portfolios covering combustion engines as they invest more heavily in transportation technologies of the future, according to a new report by UnitedLex.

Vehicle OEMs and suppliers are focusing on patent spending for electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and advanced driver assistance systems, explains “Patent Insights From Times of Industry Transformation: The UnitedLex Automotive US Patent Lapse Analysis, Volume 3”.

By examining abandonment data of 100,000 patents owned by major automotive companies, UnitedLex has gauged how much the automakers save from a strategic pruning strategy. It also highlights ways that some firms may be misaligning their IP strategies with their business objectives.

“It’s important to think on those terms if you’re maintaining such huge portfolios. If you have such high costs, what’s your return on investment? You can save costs by lapsing, but at the same time, you can generate revenue by divestment or potentially licensing in adjacent industries,” notes Bineet Bhasin, vice president of IP strategy and technology for UnitedLex.

Automotive players have followed traditional patent strategies in the past, but they are now evolving, he says. When research unpicks pruning trends, crunches numbers to estimate cost savings, and breaks the data down into technology categories, it can reveal where companies are heading strategically, areas of portfolio building, and cost-saving opportunities, explains Bhasin.”

Read the full article here.

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