In-car entertainment and connectivity are huge areas of development, and the lifecycle for software updates is measured in months, not years, unlike the car body. Being first to file patents and the first to market is key. Keeping these innovations secret before filing is also important, and at times difficult to accomplish given that employees often go to work for the competition. Cars can also be disassembled and easily reverse engineered. Therefore, robust, international intellectual property protection and enforcement is mandatory.
The automotive and heavy machinery industries have vast supplier ecosystems that are only becoming more complicated as vehicles are built with more electronic components. Understanding contracts, agreements and risk assessment are key components to success. And for many companies, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be financially advantageous to streamline production.