This has been a year in which automotive technology and the legal issues surrounding it have come increasingly to the forefront, both in legal circles and public perception. Given the many new entrants in the autonomous vehicle sector, and the tangible, visible progress toward viable driverless cars, automotive technology promises to be a focus of intellectual property disputes and regulatory attention in the coming years. This article looks back at 2017 to describe how the legal landscape for automotive technology has been developing, particularly with respect to autonomous vehicles, but also with any eye for where automotive technology and legal issues may be heading in 2018 and beyond. We start with an analysis of patenting trends in the automotive industry, followed by a discussion of intellectual property disputes in the industry, and we conclude with a brief summary of the developing regulatory landscape for autonomous vehicles.

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Originally published by Law360, December 21, 2017

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