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Patent MarketPlace: Automative/Vehicular Patents and Trademarks for Sale

Toroidal Traction Transmission (Supra Lumina): U.S. Patent No. 10,502,289 and Continuation

One of the key factors to performance, reliability, economy, and durability for a vehicle of any kind is its transmission – the component that delivers power from the engine or motor to drive the wheels. The drive wheels on most of today’s cars and trucks have the same symmetrical input/output wheel arrangement that has been used for decades.

This portfolio takes a different approach, introducing an asymmetric input/output wheel arrangement as well as a unique suspension system for the drive wheels. This portfolio creates a transmission with at least double the velocity ratio and torque multiplication range of conventional transmissions. When used in a passenger vehicle, truck, or bus there is no need to have a seven, eight, nine, or ten-speed transmission because the transmission created by this portfolio adjusts the gear ratios as needed in a step-less and continuous manner with a much wider ratio spread. Additionally, fewer parts are required to build this transmission!

Applications for a Toroidal Traction Transmission include gas, diesel, and electric automobiles, trucks, and busses as well as aerospace, marine, construction, and industrial vehicles. The power source – an electric motor, for example – can keep running at its most efficient speed or speed range while the output shaft speed can be varied in a continuous and infinite manner as needed. This revolutionary transmission offers superior performance and fuel economy. And because the design requires fewer parts, the transmission is lighter and up to 25% less expensive to build than conventional transmissions!

U.S. Patent No. 10,502,289 for a “Asymmetric toroidal transmission system,” and U.S. Patent Application 20200103007 would enable any vehicle or transmission manufacturer to leapfrog the technology of all of its competitors and introduce what is truly the next generation of transmissions.

Auto Ignition Key Security (Farah): U.S. Patent and European Patent Application

The easiest way to steal a car, truck, or other type of vehicle is to simply take the key, start it, and drive off. And let’s face it, car and truck keys are laying all over the place – hanging on a hook, in a coat pocket or purse, on a desktop, or in a dozen other unprotected locations. What is needed is a way for a vehicle owner to have an ignition key that he or she can grab when needed, but that someone else – from a co-worker to a customer to a stranger to a teenager to a thief – cannot also pick up and use to drive the car away, to either steal it or just “borrow” it!

This patent addresses exactly that need. It creates a smart fob that holds the key. The fob records the owner’s fingerprint and a security code. When the owner (or an authorized user) picks up the fob, it reads the fingerprint and the owner enters the security code. An LED indicates that the correct security code has been entered, and the cover of the fob pops open and releases the ignition key! If the owner needs to give a key to a third person – a parking lot attendant or auto repair facility, for example – he or she either uses a spare key or pops the key out of the fob, then replaces it when the car is returned. Or the owner can give temporary access to a third person by temporarily adding that person’s fingerprint to the device.

U.S. Patent No. 10,625,712 and European Patent Application 3621043 for a “Method and apparatus for securely accessing an automobile ignition key” would be an excellent acquisition for an auto aftermarket supplier looking to offer a totally new product, creating a new market segment in the automotive accessories sector. There are many cars, trucks, and other vehicles that use conventional ignition keys, and there are tens of millions of older cars and trucks on the road that use ignition keys, so the market for a product based on this patent is huge!

Reduction of Drag on Trailers (Mazyan): U.S. Patent No. 8,746,779

Drag is a drag. As a truck-and-trailer moves down the road, it has to push a lot of air out of the way. It is called “drag” and is defined as “the longitudinal retarding force exerted by air or other fluid surrounding a moving object.” The more drag, the harder the vehicle has to push to make its way through the air, and more drag means higher fuel costs. Any reduction in drag results in lower fuel costs. Most of the trucks that pull trailers include a baffle mounted on the top of the cab that pushes air up and over the trailer, and this significantly reduces drag. But what about that huge box moving down the road? The trailer?

This patent addresses drag reduction for trailers. It uses three wings – one on the front bottom of the trailer and two on the rear top and rear bottom of the trailer – that redirect air coming at the trailer and moving across the top and bottom of the trailer. Redirecting the air coming off the top and bottom of the trailer against the rear of the trailer reduces the vacuum that would otherwise exist across the back of the trailer, increasing drag and fuel usage. The wings replace that vacuum with higher pressure that actually pushes the retarding force caused by drag. Therefore, the air passing over and under the trailer is redirected to ease the vehicle’s forward motion, reducing drag and fuel costs! The invention was test in a wind tunnel, and it showed a reduction of up to 2.3%. And that also results in a small carbon footprint for vehicles equipped with the invention.

U.S. Patent No. 8,746,779 for a “Tri-wing system for reduction of the aerodynamic drag of ground vehicles” would be a critical acquisition for any trailer manufacturer or truck aftermarket supplier ready to introduce an energy-saving accessory for trucking companies.

Smarter, More Efficient Autonomous Vehicles (Ramanujam): Four U.S. Patents and Patent Application

The autonomous vehicle (AV) is not the next big thing. The autonomous vehicle is here…and there are thousands of them on the road today. One of the objectives of autonomous vehicles is to offer dramatically improved efficiencies, providing the owner/operator of an AV with a greater return on investment. This comprehensive portfolio addresses several aspects of what will unquestionably be the next generation of autonomous vehicle technology.

U.S. Patent No. 9,805,519 addresses performing services on an autonomous vehicle. When the AV detects that service needs to be performed on the vehicle, it selects a service center to perform the service and generates commands to drive to the service center. One of the objectives for autonomous vehicles is that they will boost productivity when time that would be spent idle can be used for productive purposes such as routine maintenance. This is a foundational patent with over 200 Forward Citations.

U.S. Patent No. 9,805,605 covers the operation of a fleet of autonomous vehicles in a taxi service. When an AV is sent to pick up a passenger, it may select a route to travel to the passenger location and provide the commands necessary to arrive at the pick-up location. The autonomous vehicle notifies the dispatcher once the taxi service has been completed and the vehicle is available, and the AV will provide commands to drive to a default location to wait for instructions from the taxi service system to pick up the next passenger. This is also a foundational patent with over 200 Forward Citations.

U.S. Patent No. 10,023,231 relates to parking an autonomous vehicle. After arriving at a preselected location, the autonomous vehicle may be given instructions to park in a currently available parking space that is selected based on a proximity and priority level for that locale. The AV confirms that it is parked and provides the location. The vehicle can then be instructed to drive from the parking spot to a preselected location to wait for a passenger. If the passenger does not arrive within a defined period of time, the AV re-parks itself. This is a newer patent, but it already has over 150 Forward Citations.

U.S. Patent No. 10,220,705 deals with sharing of an autonomous vehicle by multiple users. An AV receives a request to pick up and drop off a passenger. The autonomous vehicle may add a second, concurrent task by picking up and dropping off a second passenger, but only if doing so does not conflict with picking up and delivering the first passenger. The goal of using autonomous vehicles to increase efficiencies can be significantly achieved through the type of ride-sharing covered by this patent. Also a relatively new patent, it already has over 50 Forward Citations.

U.S. Patent Application 20190250616 also addresses performing services on an autonomous vehicle. The AV determines that service is needed, so it identifies a service facility that is within the current range of the vehicle and is in proximity to the route to be taken by the autonomous vehicle. The vehicle provides commands to divert itself from the original route and drive to the service facility and have the required service performed. This technology applies to the self-driving trucks – electric, gas, and diesel – that are revolutionizing the trucking industry as it will significantly increase efficiency by using down-time for maintenance and service.

Patent Portfolio

This portfolio will provide any manufacturer or owner/operator of autonomous vehicles with the ability to dramatically increase the efficiency of the AVs it sells or operates. Available upon request are five Claim Charts for one patent in the portfolio.

Never Get Locked Out Again (United Wellness): Two-Patent Portfolio

Conventional keys are going the way of pay phones and video rental stores. Multiple technologies are competing to offer smarter lock-and-key technology. This portfolio addresses that technology from two angles – first with an improved button that you use to activate a key, and second with wireless or Bluetooth connectivity that does not require an app for your smartphone.

The first patent covers what is essentially a button-pressing kit. It has a fixed plate that is attached to a transmitting device with a depressible button on its exterior. It uses a mechanical button that activates an electrical switch when depressed. There is a resilient ball between the button and an axially rotating plate. Rotation in one direction depresses the button, and a motor can cause this axial rotation. If the pressure on the button is too great, it can be considered depressed and the motor will rotate in the other direction, sending the movable plate back to its starting point. To depress the button, specific input – such as on a tactile sensor – may be needed. The resilient ball can actually stick to the button via an adhesive connection, thus the term “sticky ball” in the patent title.

The second patent addresses the challenge created by all of the remote-control devices in use today – devices for televisions, garage doors, home and office doors, gate locks, automobiles, window shades and drapes, and many other items. This patent uses the same transmission devices provided by the manufacturer, but each device uses a mechanical push button (from the first patent) that is pressed to operate the transmitter. It can be tapped, vibrated, or communicated with via a second, distinct wireless transmission. The user can use his or her smartphone or another hand-held wireless device to send a code that prompts mechanical movement that opens or unlocks the desired device or equipment. The wireless transmission can be a password via a short-range wireless connection between the wireless transmission device and the housing that contains the button.

This portfolio includes U.S. Patent Nos. 9,798,349 for a “Button pressing device with moving plate and sticky ball” and U.S. Patent No. 10,042,381 for a “Double wireless receipt and transmission with mechanical movement causing second wireless transmission.” This portfolio would be a strategic acquisition for any business in the Smart Home/Smart Office segment, a company currently making conventional key-and-lock products or remote locks such as garage-door openers, or a business looking to enter the Smart Home/Smart office business segment with next-generation technology.

Advanced Fuel Filter (Koch): U.S. Patent No. 10,596,899

Dirty fuel – be it gasoline, diesel or aviation fuel – is a ton of trouble. The vehicle either has to be towed to a repair facility, or – in the case of a stationary engine or construction equipment – a mechanic or repair technician has to travel to the location of the disabled equipment to make repairs. Downtime, expense and aggravation. The primary shortcoming of the current generation of fuel filters is where they are located. Virtually are all located in the engine compartment just before where the fuel enters the engine. That means that dirty fuel can build up in the fuel intake tube, the fuel tank, and the fuel line from the fuel tank to the fuel filter next to the engine.

This patent takes a totally different approach. It filters the fuel as it enters the vehicle, before it even makes it to the fuel tank. This patent describes a fuel filter that is attached to the intake tube directly under the fuel cap. Any dirt, sediment, debris, or other impurities are caught as they enter the vehicle and never make it to the fuel tank or the fuel line. For vehicles and equipment that work in hostile environments – construction equipment, farm machinery, generators, irrigation systems, military vehicles, mining and quarry equipment, and aircraft are just a few – any contaminants in the fuel are filtered out as the fuel enters the vehicle. The filter can be easily popped out – no need for a mechanic – cleaned as needed, and re-inserted! In addition to avoiding dirty-fuel-based repairs, cleaner fuel means longer engine life.

U.S. Patent No. 10,596,899 for a “Fuel tank filter assembly and fuel system” would be a critical acquisition for any manufacturer of engines or machinery that is used in dirty, harsh environments. It can be a value-added feature that differentiates the product line, or sold as an accessory. The patent is also an excellent acquisition for an automotive or industrial equipment aftermarket supplier seeking to create a new market segment with patent protection through 2038!

Next-Generation Control of Autonomous Vehicles (Massive Analytic): International Patent Portfolio

Autonomous (partially and fully self-driving) vehicles are no longer science fiction. There are a dozen or so autonomous vehicles on the market, there are thousands of self-driving vehicles on the road, and every car and truck manufacturer has plans to introduce autonomous vehicles. However, the current generation of self-driving vehicles has a serious deficiency. They lack the ability to use inferential thinking to communicate in real time with the rapidly changing environment around them.

This portfolio covers Artificial Intelligence that enables a partially or fully self-driving vehicle to both see and understand the vehicle's surroundings as accurately as human beings can. This portfolio creates an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that provides Artificial Precognition using Adaptive Cognized Control (APACC). In-vehicle cameras, sensors, ADAS, LIDAR and DSRC generate specific real-time vehicular data which is combined with actuators, control units and integrated software to enable the vehicle to monitor and respond to its surroundings. Additionally, three-dimensional geometry is computed for situations in front of the vehicle in real time from the sensory inputs. This three-dimensional geometry is combined in real-time with driver behavior, environmental maps (including weather, road conditions and traffic), and images stored in a high-performance computing (HPC) data center.

APACC uses complex algorithms and provides a significant level of inferential thinking and real-time communication. With sensory inputs and the three-dimensional geometry generated for real-time situations, APACC allows “cognizing” of the vehicle's surroundings providing a “perception” of the external environment much as humans do. APACC – by its use of a combination of three-dimensional geometry with driver behavior in different situations – simulates the way humans use a combination of stored memories and sensory input to interpret events as they occur and anticipate likely scenarios.

Patent Portfolio

The patents in this portfolio would enable any current supplier of autonomous vehicles, or any company developing autonomous vehicles, to take its technology to the next level and provide superior driving control, safety and responsiveness.

Retractable RV Skirt (Desrochers): U.S. Patent No. 10,000,147

Recreational vehicle owners have had an ongoing problem for years – enclosing the large open space under their travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome. Having all that open the space under the vehicle makes the unit more expensive to heat in the winter and more expensive to cool in the summer. And if the RV owner is going to be any place for any period of time, he or she wants to be able to store items like grills, coolers, fishing and hunting gear, lawn furniture, supplies, propane, you-name-it under the RV, but then it becomes very unsightly. Finally, the RV owner does not want cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons and other wildlife from making a home under the vehicle.

RV owners currently use a combination of methods to enclose the space under their vehicles – from bales of hay to plywood and blue board, or panels that must be attached and stored, and then removed and stored every time they move. This patent fixes all of these issues by creating the first retractable skirt for motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheelers. Brackets secure a roll-down skirt to the bottom of the vehicle, and a remote-controlled motor drops down and raises the skirt upon command from the owner. The skirt can be made to match the exterior of the RV so it is a continuation of the unit’s exterior. When the skirt is in the raised position, the owner just drives away. Nothing to pack or unpack.

U.S. Patent No. 10,000,147 for “Retractable recreational vehicle skirting” would be a critical acquisition for any RV manufacturer or after-market RV supplier looking to create – and own – a new market segment in the RV industry.

Biometric/Smartphone Vehicle Locking/Unlocking (Ahmad): Two U.S. Patents plus Continuation

We’ve all locked ourselves out of our car at one time or another. Whether it is an older car with a conventional key, or a newer car that uses just a fob, we’ve all faced that stomach-churning moment when we realize we do not have the key. Or do not have it with us. Parallel to that is the reality that the smartphone we carry around with us does a lot more than just make and receive phone calls. We can use it to pay bills, facetime with grandma, and monitor the front door to our home. Why not also use our smart phone to unlock our car?

This patent addresses exactly that very logical concept. You ask your smartphone to unlock your car. It asks for biometric authorization such as a fingerprint, and it unlocks the car by communicating with a module attached to the vehicle. The invention can also be used to give access to a vehicle to a friend or co-worker, by share-riding services to confirm that a customer is really a customer, or to control access to autonomous vehicles. Biometrics is a key element because it prevents a bad guy from stealing your smartphone and then using your stolen smartphone to also steal your car! The patented invention uses NFC (near-field communications) so you just need to be near your car such as while you are walking to it in a parking lot or parking garage.

This portfolio includes U.S. Patent Nos. 10,343,650 and 10,604,115 for a “NFC system for unlocking a vehicle via smartphone biometric authentication” plus an open continuation. This property would be a valuable acquisition for a cell phone OEM or service provider, or for an automotive accessories aftermarket supplier, or for an auto company that wants to offer added security and convenience for its customers.

No-Spray Mud Flaps (Radyk): U.S. Patent No. 10,246,134

We’ve all been there. We are passing a truck in wet, nasty weather, and the wheels from the truck send up a blinding spray of water, salt, sand, slush and mud, blinding us for several minutes until we finally pass the truck. Heavy truck splash creates a serious driving hazard on multi-lane highways and a critically dangerous situation on narrow, two-lane roads!

The invention covered by this patent addresses exactly that driving hazard by introducing the first new design in mud flaps since we started building the Interstate Highway System. This patent creates a mud flap with openings across its surface. Elbow tubes extend from the exterior surface of the mud flap at each opening and run down the interior surface of the mud flap. Water, snow, slush, ice, sand, salt and other roadway debris are caught by the openings and then flow down the interior surface of the panel where they are collected and redirected through the elbow tubes and flow down to the road surface. The huge spray from the truck’s wheels that blinds motorists is eliminated!

U.S. Patent No. 10,246,134 for a “Truck mud flaps with elbow tubes” would be a critical acquisition for any trailer manufacturer or truck aftermarket supplier looking for a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Pop-Up Automated EV Charging Station (Kauffmann): Three U.S. Patents plus U.S. and PCT Patent Applications

Electric vehicles have arrived, and along with them a whole new set of challenges. Most EVs are charged at home at night, but increasingly electric vehicles are being charged 24/7 at charging stations that are popping up across the country. The first all-electric “gas station” just opened in Takoma Park, Maryland. One of the challenges facing the EV industry is the best way to charge all these electric vehicles, and how to do it efficiently and safely.

This portfolio presents a comprehensive solution. Rather than charge the vehicle through a port on the side of the vehicle – essentially replacing where the gas cap was with an electrical port – this portfolio re-thinks the entire concept. The EV drives into the charging station, and a robotic arm rises up from the floor and plugs into the bottom of the car to recharge its battery. The configuration is waterproof, so there is no danger and no damage when it rains. And since the driver of the car does not actually touch any part of the charging equipment, it is much safer, dramatically reducing the possibility of injury or death.

The patented invention also creates a whole new level of convenience for EV owners who do not have to get out of their cars during inclement weather. They can stay in the car while it’s charging, or step out of the car to get a cup of coffee, visit the restroom, or just stretch their legs. For the growing number of autonomous vehicles, this invention addresses the question: Who in a driverless vehicle is going to step out of the car and plug in the charging device?

Patent No.Title
9,543,769Pop up electrical apparatus
9,780,584Pop up electrical apparatus with safety system
9,862,284Pop up electrical apparatus with wireless charging component for electric vehicles
10,538,172Apparatus that automates the connecting process between a primary connector and a secondary connector for charging an electric vehicle

This portfolio also includes PCT Patent Application 2019010375 for “An apparatus that automates the connecting process between a primary connector and a secondary connector for charging an electric vehicle.” This portfolio would be a strategic acquisition for any company currently building or operating charging stations or any EV manufacturer.

Tap, Tap, Tap to Control Smart Devices while Driving (Karuza): U.S. Patent No, 9,966,951

All of the sophisticated electronics and sensors that an automobile driver has to deal with can be overwhelming. And distracting. For example, 20 states have banned the use of cell phones while driving. A key objective in driver safety is reducing driver distraction, and this invention addresses that need head on!

This patent creates a device that communicates with all of an automobile’s sensors and services, as well as any items brought into the car by the driver, such as a smartphone. Rather than search to find the On/Off for a sensor or application, or have to find the phone, the driver simply taps on the touch sensor. One tap for the smartphone. Two taps for the navigation system. Three taps for the back-up camera. The user/driver sets up the system with a set number of taps for each device or application. With less distraction than turning on the AC, the driver can quickly and easily access any device or sensor!

U.S. Patent No. 9,966,951 for a “System for allowing a user to wirelessly manage software applications of a computing device and plurality of vehicles sensors” would be a strategic acquisition for any automobile company or supplier of aftermarket automotive electronics.

Advanced Driver Assistance Module (ALMAGuide): Two U.S. Patents

Today’s navigation systems are great. No pulling over to the side of the road to look at a map, or guessing how far it is to the next turn. Today’s navigation systems can do everything but get you out of the slow lane and into the lane that is moving the fastest. Until now, that is! The invention covered by this portfolio integrates an in-auto, aftermarket or smart-phone-enabled navigation system with data from traffic management centers to guide the driver to the most expeditious route to his or her destination based on current traffic conditions! The invention covered by this portfolio also applies to autonomous vehicles.

Patent No.Title
9,053,636Management Center Module for Advanced Lane Management Assist for Automated Vehicles and Conventionally Driven Vehicles
9,286,800Guidance Assist Vehicle Module

This portfolio would be a critical acquisition for any automobile or truck OEM, aftermarket navigation product supplier, smart phone manufacturer, or navigation services or cellular services provider.

Smarter, Safer Autonomous Vehicles (Ellis): Two U.S. Patents

You cannot avoid the latest developments in autonomous vehicles. The news covers not just the technology, but autonomous vehicle accidents. Self-driving cars are the first major automotive development since the Model T. The challenge, of course, is making them smarter and safer – safe enough that people will be confident enough to buy them and ride in them.

This portfolio directly addresses the issue of safer self-driving vehicles by incorporating several technologies – Lidar (light imaging detection and ranging), continuous-wave radar, computer-vision deep-learning algorithms, GPS, and intelligent video monitoring and video analysis. This portfolio reveals technology that scans the environment surrounding the vehicle, and uses computer-vision deep-learning algorithms to evaluate the images and – based on the data it collects - predict a vehicle’s behavior. By being responsive to electronic tags, other vehicles and roadside objects, it uses this collective intelligence to make reliable, pre-collision restraint deployment decisions.

The portfolio also includes technology that:

U.S. Patent Nos. 10,147,320 and 10,235,877 for a “Self Driving Vehicles Safety System” will dramatically improve highway safety as more and more autonomous vehicles come into use. This portfolio will be a critical acquisition for any vehicle manufacturer that plans to be a major player in the autonomous vehicle segment.

Energy Efficient, High-Torque Electric Motor (Morris): U.S. Patent No. 10,199,914 plus CIP

Electric vehicle manufacturers are doing everything possible to increase the distance their vehicles can go on a charge. In addition to increasing battery capacity, the other strategy to accomplish this is to use electric motors that are more efficient. This intriguing patent addresses exactly that. In fact, it is the first new concept in electric motors in decades!

This patented electronic motor features a shaft that has a larger diameter and shortened length. It essentially “pancakes” the motor. It is a high-torque motor that operates more efficiently by taking advantage of repelling and attracting forces from magnetic fields. It uses lifting electromagnets for improved efficiency, and it includes a fail-safe feature that enables the motor to continue to operate even when some components have failed! The inventor has developed a working prototype that can be viewed by any parties interested in the portfolio.

U.S. Patent No. 10,199,914 for “Closed loop leveraging electromagnetic motor” has applications in electric vehicles as well as any products currently using electric motors – such as water pumping stations as well as construction and agricultural equipment – where increased efficiency is needed. The granted U.S. Patent comes with a Continuation-in-Part Application that enables the operator to use an app to control and monitor the motor’s parameters. This portfolio would be a critical acquisition for any electric vehicle company or manufacturer of equipment that use electric motors!

Instant Battery Recharge for Electric Vehicles (Jasper): International Patent Portfolio

One of the critical limitations facing the electric vehicle (EV) industry is range. A gasoline or diesel-powered car or truck has unlimited range. When the fuel runs low, the driver pulls into a gas station and fills up the tank in minutes. While electric vehicles have many advantages, you cannot just pull into a station and fill up the tank. Owners of electric vehicles have to remember to plug them in at night so they are fully charged in the morning, and the owner of an EV cannot travel over half of the range of a full charge if he or she is going to make it back home. There is a growing network of charging stations for electric vehicles, but a charge takes time – the one asset that none of us has enough of!

This portfolio creates a solution to the recharge challenge facing electric vehicle owners. It gives every electric vehicle owner unlimited range by establishing EV battery-swap stations. Rather than plug the EV into a re-charging unit and wait for the battery to recharge, the owner simply drives into a battery-swap station. He or she pays for a new, fully charged battery. As the vehicle moves through the station, the old, low-charge battery slides out while a new, fully charged battery slides in. That’s it! And off the driver goes with a fully charged battery. In fact, the technology covered by this portfolio makes “filling the tank” on an electric vehicle easier and faster than filling the tank on a conventional gasoline or diesel automobile! And this patented technology gives every EV the same unlimited range that fossil fuel-powered vehicles have.

Patent Portfolio:
U.S. Patent No. 8,973,254: System and method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles
U.S. Patent No. 9,142,866: Method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles
U.S. Patent No. 9,637,093: System and method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles
European Patent 2885170: System and method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles
Canadian Patent Application 2904627: System and method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles
PCT Patent Application 2014138394: System and method for rapid battery exchange in electric vehicles

This portfolio will give an electric vehicle manufacturer the ability to set up a network of battery swap stations that will give all of its vehicles unlimited driving range, a critical competitive advantage. It will also give a current supplier of automotive products and services – such as a gasoline or auto parts supplier – the ability to service electric vehicles, creating a whole new business segment in the automotive industry.

Blind Spot, Turn Signal and Brake Light Detection Using Retractable Camera (DiMenichi): U.S. Patent No. 9,843,734

Many new cars come with a rear-mounted camera that helps the driver see what is behind the car when backing up and notifies the driver when another vehicle is in the car’s blind spot. Great idea. But what about the millions of older vehicles on the road today that do not have this capability? The invention covered by this patent creates an exterior-mounted, retractable camera that offers multiple benefits:

The camera can be mounted anywhere on the exterior of a vehicle, including on the side of a school bus or truck. Since the camera retracts, the lens is kept clean during snow, rain and other messy conditions. U.S. Patent No. 9,843,734 for a "Retractable Camera for Vehicle" would be a critical acquisition for any business in the auto after market.

VIN and Auto Image Database Collection (Suggs): Two U.S. Patents

Each and every automobile has a unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and it is used not just on titles and registrations, but by automobile dealers to track the autos in their inventories. Most dealers have someone read the VIN off each vehicle and write it down on a notepad, then transfer the data to the dealer’s inventory database. This has worked fine for over 100 years, but it is a labor-intense and error-prone process.

This patent covers a technology that automates the process. An attendant scans the VIN, and it is automatically added to a database. Photos are also taken of the vehicle, and they also are added to the database. This economically collected, highly accurate and comprehensive data is then uploaded to the dealer’s inventory as well as to local and national automobile databases. The technology not only makes it faster and easier for car dealers to track their inventory, it also has applications in auto insurance, auto financing and stolen auto recovery.

Patent No.Patent Title
6,965,324Automotive Picture and Data Acquisition Center and Method
8,548,672Automotive Picture and Data Acquisition Center and Method

The ‘324 patent has 2000 Priority Date and 30 Forward Citations. This property would be a key acquisition for any auto retailing chain or auto auction looking to save time and improve inventory accuracy, or for any supplier of inventory tracking and management software and services to automobile dealers seeking to add new capabilities to its line-up.

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