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Automotive, Aerospace & Transportation

Our attorneys understand how the automotive, aerospace, and transportation industries work, and what it takes to accelerate the bottom line.

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OEMs, suppliers, and Tier 1, 2, and 3 manufacturers consistently retain Harness Dickey in all areas of intellectual property law. We are actively involved in licensing transactions, conducting technology transfers, securing trade secret protection, managing disputes, and taking on high stakes litigation proceedings. Our attorneys are not only outstanding lawyers, but many also have degrees and hands-on experience in the engineering and scientific disciplines that drive the development of the automotive, aerospace, and transportation industries.

Cars are in the DNA of Harness Dickey. We have continuously represented automotive OEMs and their suppliers since we were founded in 1921 in Detroit — the “Motor City.” Many of our lawyers have worked as engineers in the automotive industry, so we know what it takes to support your innovation in everything from the latest consumer demands to new safety features, autonomous controls, elegant design features, and pure old-fashioned muscle. We have been involved in the development of technologies pertaining to hybrid, diesel and electric vehicles, as well as having served as patent and trademark counsel for tens of thousands of U.S. and foreign automotive patents, trademarks, licenses, freedom to operate investigations, and lawsuits.

When our clients seek comprehensive service and protection for their innovations in the automotive and transportation industry, we provide it. Our experience spans practically every major automotive system and technology, including: engine and transmission controllers, variable displacement engines, high efficiency internal combustion, hybrid and diesel powertrain systems, powertrain components, exhaust treatment systems, convertible roof mechanisms, electromagnetic actuators, airbags, junctions boxes, electrical switches, industrial manufacturing, tire pressure monitoring systems, suspension systems, voice recognition systems, stability control, GPS technology and infotainment systems — to name only a few.  

When it comes to insight, The North American International Auto Show and the Society of Automotive Engineering Conference take place in our “backyard.” Our neighbors include the largest U.S. automotive OEMs and most of the U.S. suppliers, as well as their CEOs, marketing directors, accountants, and engineers, with whom we interact regularly over the backyard fence.

While our automotive experience keeps us grounded, our work in the aerospace and defense industries continually elevates our clients’ success. Harness Dickey has a team of lawyers with extensive experience in commercial and military aviation as both engineers and patent attorneys. We have the technical expertise to understand your innovations because our team includes a commercial pilot with instrument rating, an attorney who prosecuted patents on behalf on the International Space Station, and engineers with practical experience across the industry. In addition to our own engineering background, we have worked with engineers from the world’s most advanced laboratories, giving us the inside knowledge and skills to translate your inventions into secured patents. From being in the air ourselves, we can provide the expertise and overview to protect and enforce your intellectual property assets in the aerospace industry.

Our clients include major U.S. manufacturers and suppliers for whom we provide the full range of legal services. We have experience with a wide range of technologies, including:

  • control systems
  • electronic systems for large commercial aircraft
  • fasteners and composite materials for satellites
  • guidance and navigation
  • helicopters
  • launch vehicles
  • missile defense systems
  • propulsion systems
  • rocket fairings
  • satellite systems, telemetry and tracking
  • satellite-based telescopes
  • security and communications systems
  • spacecraft and space stations
  • stratospheric platform technology

Our aerospace experience further includes handling patents and trademarks related to drone technology, several of which have applications for public safety and emergency response, providing video inspections of industrial or confined space environments, and systems for controlling drones and transmitting video streams to an operator or third party.

We strive to consistently monetize our clients’ intellectual property assets. We prepare, prosecute and work with our clients to manage their often extensive and worldwide portfolios. Our team designs and executes due diligence programs, provides formal opinions regarding freedom to operate and patentability questions, and vigorously defends and enforces our client’s rights in the face of pending litigation. Our legal counsel also includes the clearance, procurement and ongoing monitoring of trademarks and copyrights, as well as identifying copyrightable materials and corresponding registration and protection.