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Troy, Mich.—December 18, 2020—The move toward electric vehicles means opportunities for entrepreneurial companies and inventors who can devise products intended to safely store and transport Lithium-ion batteries or provide other types of product development or support along the battery supply chain. Dickinson Wright PLLC intellectual property attorney Andrea Arndt is working with a Michigan-based inventor team that has filed multiple patents on products that enhance the safety of batteries during transport and while in storage.
“I anticipate a variety of additional patents being filed in the battery space, spawned in large part by the auto industry’s rush to equip vehicles with Lithium-ion batteries in lieu of the combustion engine,” Arndt said. “Much of the current patent inventory surrounding technology for safely storing and transporting batteries is outdated or not in active use, so the market is ripe for innovation.”
The attraction to invest in battery-related innovation includes the need for solutions to safely store and transport large quantities of batteries, which presents opportunities in a variety of areas beyond the battery itself, according to Arndt.
“Whether batteries are being transported in a shipping container by air or sea, or being delivered through a traditional delivery service, there needs to be assurance that the batteries are safely stored and pose no fire hazard during transport,” Arndt said. “And once the batteries arrive at their destination, additional protections must be in place while they are warehoused. Depending on the battery’s size and purpose, that could be in a traditional warehouse, offsite storage, or even in a retail outlet like Home Depot. Even if OEMs plan to manufacture their own Lithium-ion batteries, the underlying safety and storage issues are the same, whether it be in the manufacturing plant or in the vehicle itself.”
One of Arndt’s current clients in the battery sector is an inventor duo of college director/engineer and retired fireman who worked with Dickinson Wright to form their battery business, and who have patents pending for battery storage and transportation of batteries, including Lithium-ion batteries. In an event that a battery begins to overheat or start on fire, their products have systems to prevent a full-scale fire that damages not only the battery but surrounding items and the product itself. She says these newbie inventors were smart to approach an attorney about intellectual property protection before they took their product to market, and that others conducting research and development in the battery space should do the same.
“Because patents need to be filed within one year of offering an invention for sale or selling it in the U.S., inventors often miss out on patent protection by introducing their product to potential users or investors before they have secured the rights to call it their own,” Arndt said. “A patent filed within applicable deadlines secures the ability for the patent owner to license and sell the technology, as well as creating an exclusive marketplace.”
About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Founded in 1878, the firm has 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.
Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise, and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification and one of the only firms with ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management procedures, security controls and privacy processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.