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Robinson Quoted in Law360 About the Likelihood of Auto Companies Battling over Patents

07 February 2019 Law360
Partner William Robinson, chair of the firm’s IP Litigation practice, was quoted in the Law360 article, “The Next Big Patent War? It Likely Won’t Be in Detroit,” about whether automakers are likely to have learned anything from the drawn-out legal battles of the smartphone industry over patents. According to Law360, automakers have been stockpiling patents relating to autonomous and connected cars, but IP attorneys including Robinson do not expect car companies to have the appetite to engage in litigation over patents as many smartphone-makers did in the past.

Robinson said the smartphone wars, where companies like Apple and Samsung were locked in drawn-out courtroom battles — and spent tens of millions of dollars in the process — were eye-opening for a lot of people. But was it all worth it? “The big players, if they can’t take each other out of the market — and certainly Samsung and Apple is Exhibit A for that — then what’s the point?” he said.

Robinson also pointed to broader trends in patent litigation, including the difficulties securing an injunction and the creation of America Invents Act reviews to challenge patents, that have pushed down the overall number of patent lawsuits.

“I don’t think you’ll see the smartphone wars repeated in the automotive space because the return on litigation investment dollars is just not there,” he said.