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BakerHostetler’s Automotive and Mobility team combines decades of experience advising automotive and manufacturing clients with the agility of our world-class data and intellectual property (IP) and artificial intelligence (AI) teams to help existing companies and new market entrants navigate the legal landscape in the automotive and mobility sector – a terrain that is constantly changing as the result of technology developments, shifting geopolitical and national interests, and consumer demands.

We represent clients from early-stage companies through established market leaders across the transportation supply chain, from chipmakers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to after-market providers. Representative matters include:

  • Guiding an EV maker in obtaining dealer licenses for its alternative fuel distribution plan in various states, addressing the opposition of dealer groups and confronting arguably unfavorable state laws.
  • Representing manufacturers in innovative litigation and disputes regarding dealer protests, attempts to obtain injunctive relief and manufacturer’s right of first refusal.
  • Performed nationwide surveys of regulations regarding rights of first refusal, dealership transfers, mandatory facility upgrades, modifications of assigned geographic territory, incentives and related discrimination and antitrust issues, and numerous other legal issues of significance to the industry.
  • Assisted a manufacturer of motorcycles and other power sports equipment in drafting new dealership agreements, standard provisions, and operational policies and procedures and in rolling out the new documents to dealers.
  • Assisting in the development of incentive and bonus programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Assisted a heavy-truck manufacturer in creating and implementing dealer network policies, branding guidelines and dealership facility standards.
  • Regularly advise on transformative technologies, including software-defined vehicles (SDVs), automated and connected vehicles, and alternative fuels, including electric and hydrogen.
  • Advise OEMs on the full spectrum of issues, including franchise and distribution, dealerships, manufacturing plant management, employment policies and claims, contracts, M&A diligence and agreements, IP strategy, class actions and other litigation, products liability, and opportunities and risks related to emerging technologies.
  • Advise a major OEM on the development and deployment of EVs, including an EV battery plant project.
  • Advise a major OEM on hydrogen truck deployment agreements and data management.
  • Advise autonomous vehicle and other companies in responding to California Department of Motor Vehicles and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration inquiries, general orders and potential recalls, which includes interacting with state and federal regulators on behalf of clients.
  • Advise an autonomous vehicle technology company on responding to U.S. Customs and Border Protection inquiries regarding supply chain issues and imports.
  • Advise technology companies in responding to various U.S. agency Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking regarding automated vehicle development, testing and deployment; connected vehicles; trucking; and data collection, storage and handling.
  • Advise an autonomous flying taxi company on regulatory matters, including those related to hybrid vehicles.
  • Advise electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and drone companies on investments and planning, incorporation, partnerships and agreements, testing, regulatory compliance, IP capture, IP agreements, and other matters.
  • Advise autonomous trucking companies on testing, deployment and international trade matters.
  • Advise and represent clients in IP matters, including drafting and prosecuting patent applications related to connectivity, EV and automated vehicle technologies; advise on software and copyright licensing; and represent clients in IP litigation related to connected vehicles.
  • Advise OEMs and automotive technology companies on AI, machine learning, and data security and privacy practices, including for SDVs and autonomous technologies.
  • Represent aerospace companies in IP, investment and litigation matters.

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