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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

If you’ve purchased or leased a new vehicle in the past few years, or have driven a late-model rental car, you may have been pleasantly surprised at a new array of vehicle features that are becoming increasingly common. What’s more, electric vehicles and self-driving cars — ideas that seemed far-fetched in the not-too-distant past — have hit the accelerator. Rather than making automotive purchase decisions based solely on factors such as reliability, sticker price, and the look and feel of a vehicle, consumers today are increasingly demanding automation, safety, performance, entertainment and gadgetry, and more.

This surge of innovation has created numerous opportunities for enterprising inventors and entrepreneurs. If you have ideas for (or have created prototypes of) innovations you believe are new and have potential in the automotive industry, auto patents can help you protect your rights while creating the potential for future revenue. 

Automotive Innovation Is Shifting the Landscape

Patents related to innovation in the automotive space can take any number of different forms. Some of the types of inventions and ideas for which innovators may want to seek patent protection include: 

Patents Related to Self-Driving Vehicles

There has been tremendous innovation over the past decade in patent activity related to autonomous driving, with thousands of patent filings in this category for self-parking and self-driving technologies. Innovations relate not only to the technology that enables vehicles to drive and park themselves, but also to seating and table design/configurations, in-vehicle entertainment, and more.

Patents Related to “Green” Vehicles/EVs

Electric vehicle patents can also help inventors/innovators who have ideas that could improve or revolutionize the electric vehicle or “green” vehicle space. With an ever-growing emphasis on environmentally friendly products and services, there may well continue to be room for growth and for capturing market share in this area of auto tech.

Patents for In-Vehicle Technology

The in-car stereo, followed by the in-dash 8-track player, cassette tape player, CD-player, and ultimately streaming audio, were all once ideas that had not been designed or introduced. Today, many people take for granted the ability to not only listen to music, but to make and receive phone calls, use turn-by-turn GPS navigation, play in-car video for backseat passengers, and more. If you have an idea for in-vehicle technology, obtaining a vehicle patent could help you capitalize on your idea.

Patents Related to Vehicle Safety

Vehicle safety is another area in which we’ve seen continued innovation and growth. Backup cameras, blind spot warnings, proximity warnings, lane monitoring, traffic detection, and other tools continue to make roadways — as well as drivers and their passengers — safer. In addition, enterprising inventions designed to detect drug- or alcohol impairment in drivers could further up the safety game. 

Patents Related to Auto Performance

Ultimately, while we want the vehicles we drive to look good, be safe, and keep us connected, auto performance is still a key deciding factor for many people when making decisions about purchasing or leasing vehicles. Inventors and innovators who have ideas that could improve vehicle performance without sacrificing consumers’ other wants and needs could benefit from seeking patent protection for their ideas.

Auto Patents Help Inventors and Investors Get Comfortable in the Driver’s Seat

Bold Patents helps individual innovators, startups, and others obtain patent protection for their auto-related products and ideas. Our legal professionals, many of whom were engineers, scientists, and inventors before becoming dedicated patent attorneys, work closely with clients to evaluate whether an invention or idea is likely to be eligible for patent protection. If it makes sense to pursue an automobile patent, we can conduct thorough patent searches and assist clients with the patent application process from start to finish.

Obtaining a car patent for your invention or innovative idea means you will have the exclusive right to make, use, market, sell, export, license, or lease your product or idea for a period of up to 20 years. This can help you obtain — and retain — market share by giving you legal footing if a competitor infringes on your rights. Auto patents can also help reassure investors who may otherwise be wary of taking a chance on your company or product.

What’s more, obtaining patents for automobile-related inventions or innovations can help companies create additional revenue by selling or licensing their patented inventions to other businesses. Patent-holders may choose to partner with larger tech firms or OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to produce, market, or install/package their patented products with the other companies’ automobiles or auto devices. 

Motor Forward Boldly With an Experienced Patent Firm

Bold Patents is committed to helping clients across the country protect their intellectual property. Our services, provided by well-rounded attorneys using a fully remote service model, include actionable support for both patents and trademarks. We pride ourselves on providing clear, end-to-end guidance and transparent, flat-fee pricing to take the guesswork out of legal fees.

To learn more and to get started, schedule your complimentary Discovery Call today!

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at