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Class Action Reform and the “Fairness in Class Action Act”

While the Congressional legislative agenda has taken a back seat in the headlines lately, the fact remains that there still is an agenda, and it includes class action reform....more

Volkswagen Announces Major Steps Toward Electrifying Its Vehicle Fleet

While fans of electrifying rides got a boost from the box office this week, fans of electrified rides are living in exciting times as well....more

President Trump Orders EPA Review of Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards

One of the more aggressive steps taken by the Obama administration to reduce carbon emissions was to have the EPA set an ambitious target for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards: 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In...more

Trump Transition Team Taps Transportation Secretary

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced his pick to head the Department of Transportation: Elaine L. Chao. Ms. Chao is clearly a veteran of Washington: as the Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, and a deputy...more

The New Supreme Court Term: Cases for the Automotive Industry to Watch

A new Supreme Court term is once again underway. This one looks to be unique in that it is likely to be an eight-Justice bench into 2017—with Republican leaders standing firm on their refusal to go forward with confirming any...more

Department of Transportation Releases Policy Guidance on Autonomous Vehicle Technology (Part II: State Government Guidance)

In addition to its industry guidance, covered in the previous post, the DOT’s Policy Guidance for autonomous vehicle technologies also proposed a “model state policy” for regulating these new vehicles. This guidance jumps off...more

Department of Transportation Releases Policy Guidance on Autonomous Vehicle Technology (Part I: Industry Guidance)

As automakers and their suppliers alike have been working through the issues confronting autonomous vehicles, they have been doing so with a giant blind spot: just how the federal government, which regulates almost every...more

International Monetary Fund’s Forecast for Global Economy Cools

Even as experts are signaling caution in their outlook for the automotive sector, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is lowering its forecast of economic growth for this year. In its April 2016 report, the IMF reduced...more

U.S. Army Helping Develop Vehicle-to-Infrastructure And Autonomous Vehicle Technologies

The list of everyday technologies pioneered or developed by the military before being adapted to civilian applications is a lengthy one: GPS, microwave ovens, jet engines, and radar are just some common examples. Could...more

EU Nations Extend Electric Car Rebates, Consider New Ones

While Europe has been the land of small diesels for decades, air quality concerns and consideration of fossil fuels’ impact on global warming has led EU nations to offer incentives to purchasers of electric vehicles. In...more

The Supreme Court Preview, Part III: A Couple Spare Parts

While the Court’s review of bedrock principles of class action litigation and the continuing struggle to enforce arbitration clauses in the face of hostile state law are two important topics to watch, they are not the only...more

The Supreme Court Preview, Part II: Tuning Up Arbitration Clauses

This is the second post in our series “The Supreme Court Preview,” - California state and federal courts have a rocky history with the U.S. Supreme Court, as the highest court in the land has repeatedly reversed the...more

The Supreme Court Preview, Part I: The Court To Overhaul Class Actions?

A fresh Supreme Court term has kicked off, with a new slate of cases awaiting the Court’s decision. Among these cases are several that the automotive industry should keep an eye on, as they impact the law in ways that will...more

New Study Says ... Pace of Adopting Active Safety System Should Be Picked Up

Vehicle safety systems are experiencing a period of development unlike any in the history of the industry. While the 20th century focused on passive safety systems, such as crumple zones, seat belts, and airbags, these...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret-Related Claims

Situations abound in which a defendant has been sued in state court, and wants to get to federal court. In cases in which the plaintiff has not pled a federal claim, and where diversity of citizenship is absent, there may not...more

Supreme Court Signaling That Agencies May Have a Shorter Leash in the Future

The automotive industry, as much as any industry operating in the United States, has a substantial federal regulatory burden, with an alphabet soup of agencies charged with regulating under the authority of an alphabet soup...more

European Trade Secrets Directive Looks to Unify and Strengthen Protection of Proprietary Business Information in the EU

Home to several of the world’s largest OEMs, and a major place of operations for others, Europe has a thriving automotive industry. As borders have become more and more open in the European Union, OEMs and their suppliers...more

2/27/2015  /  EU , EU Directive , Trade Secrets

When It Comes to Confidentiality Agreements, Just Getting the Signature Is Not Enough

Automotive suppliers and other manufacturers frequently have to share their valuable intellectual property with third parties. A supplier might need to share CAD files with another supplier to ensure that the finished product...more

NextEnergy: Developing Charging and Power Systems for Tomorrow’s Cars, Homes, and Businesses

In addition to the networking technologies that NextEnergy is developing with its partners, NextEnergy is also developing vehicle charging and power systems that look to trim energy bills for both homes and businesses....more

9/30/2014  /  Energy Efficiency , Energy Sector

NextEnergy: Incubating Technology for Tomorrow's Homes and Cars

Two major forces are reshaping the cars that people will drive in coming years: the push to create a smarter (and eventually, even an autonomous) car, and the push for better fuel efficiency. Smarter cars are seen as a way to...more

New Materials Look to Change What Our Cars are Made of

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, is said to have expressed his philosophy of car-building as: “Simplify, then add lightness.” While expanding safety regulations and consumer demands for technology and comfort make...more

6/24/2014  /  Automotive Industry

Federal Court Reminds Trade Secret Owners That the Statute of Limitations Isn't Everything When it Comes to Misappropriation...

Several years after an employee leaves your company, you realize that he or she has been using confidential and proprietary information acquired from your business to compete against you. Your non-compete agreement with the...more

California Announces Regulations for Autonomous Car Testing

Just as manufacturers and other businesses at the edge of autonomous vehicle technology are announcing advances in the field—including, most recently, Google’s fully-autonomous prototype vehicle, featuring no controls other...more

New Federal Trade Secret Protections on the Horizon?

Conspicuously absent in the quiver of arrows available to a business looking to take action against someone who has misappropriated or is threatening to misappropriate its trade secrets is a federal cause of action for...more

Wireless Technologies to Be Mandated by NHTSA

Recent months have seen major developments in the march toward truly autonomous cars. Google has announced that it has logged almost 700,000 miles of autonomous driving, and that it has been driving many of those miles in...more

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