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Electric vehicles and the Future

Electric vehicles and the Future 

The popularity of electric vehicles has shot up over the last few years with a great shift in the public’s attitude towards electric vehicles and a constantly improving public recharging system. Electric cars and trucks are powered by electricity and are cleaner and cheaper to drive than conventional vehicles.  With a rapid increase in the use of personal vehicles around the world, the demand for fuel is also increasing. Transportation accounts for about one-fifth of global energy use, and passenger vehicles account for about ten percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In such a scenario, electric vehicles hold significant potential for increasing energy security, cutting emissions and improving local air quality.

Electric vehicles is a broad term that refers to a wide range of cars and other vehicles. However electric vehicles are of following types:

  1. Hybrid-electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine system with an electric propulsion system to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. These advanced vehicles cut fuel use and costs while maintaining performance, protecting public health and the environment.
  2. Plug-in hybrids are hybrids with high capacity batteries that can be charged by plugging them into an electrical outlet or charging station for short-range travel on battery power alone.
  3. Battery electric vehicle run entirely on battery power, utilizing chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs thereby producing zero tailpipe emissions. They are recharged from an electrical outlet.
  4. Fuel cell vehicles uses a fuel cell instead of an electrical battery. Fuel cell electric vehicles are powered by hydrogen. Unlike conventional vehicles which run on gasoline or diesel, fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs a motor.

Electric vehicles have several advantages over conventional vehicles like electric vehicles are energy efficient and environment friendly providing performance benefits and reduced energy dependence. However the market of electric vehicles is still developing, and there are many battery related challenges, particularly with technology integration, optimization, and scale-up.

Recent Patents filed in the electric vehicle market:

WO/2017/213838

Title: ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLE WITHOUT PLUG-IN REQUIREMENT

Assignee: WELSCHOFF, Heinz (1820 NE 56th Court, Fort Lauderdale, FL, FL, US)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric powered vehicle includes a battery pack capable of storing electric energy, A fuel engine operated with a clean fuel. A generator or alternator 126 having communication with the engine, and supply electric energy to the electric driving motor A starter of the fuel engine activates when a sensed charge of the battery pack falls to or below the DMF value. Included is a second 128 and third generator or alternator 130 in communication with the fuel engine during periods when no electrical communication exists between the EDM and the battery pack. The second and third generators maintain an electrical output to the battery pack until the battery packs are fully charged. Included is a rear generator or alternator 152 in communication with a rear drive shaft assembly, or differential, including a level orientation sensor and a rotational velocity sensor communication between an output of such communication enabled upon any downhill motion of the vehicle above a predetermined operational velocity determined by the velocity sensor. A second rear generator 156 is controlled by an accelerator pedal, rpm sensor, electric clutch and is activated when no pressure is applied by a driver upon the accelerator pedal, permitting charging of the battery pack by the second rear generator 156 only upon a condition of zero acceleration. A third rear generator 300 is activated by the brake pedal and brake pedal switch does charge the battery packs 102/104.

WO/2017/211793

Title: ELECTRIC POWERTRAIN, TRANSMISSION, AND VEHICLE

Assignee: PUNCH POWERTRAIN N.V. (Industriezone Schurhovenveld 4125, 3800 Sint-Truiden, 3800, BE)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

The present disclosure relates to a powertrain (K) for driving a vehicle (C). The powertrain (K) comprises two powertrain modules (Y,Y’) comprising each a rotating machine (M,M’) and a transmission (T,T’). The transmissions (T,T’) are arranged to align their respective output shafts (S2,S2′) towards a common wheel axis (A1) for driving a pair of opposite wheels of the vehicle (C). The first rotating axis (A3), the second rotating axis (A3) and a central axis (A0) of the powertrain K are parallel and offset with respect to the each other and the first rotating axis (A3) and the second rotating axis (A3′) are mirror-symmetrically offset on opposite sides of the central axis (A0). In this way a compact and versatile design is achieved.

WO/2017/213850

Title: RESPONSE AMPLITUDE MODIFICATION FOR HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE MISFIRE DETECTIONS

Assignee: FCA US LLC (1000 Chrysler Drive, Auburn Hills, Michigan, 48326, US)

Publication Date: 14 Nov 2017

Abstract:

Misfire detection techniques for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) including an internal combustion engine and an electric motor involve utilizing a crankshaft speed sensor configured to generate a crankshaft speed signal indicative of a rotational speed of a crankshaft of the engine that is coupled to the electric motor via a flywheel. The techniques also utilize a controller configured to control the electric motor to provide a vibrational response to dampen disturbances to the crankshaft, receive the crankshaft speed signal, selectively modify the crankshaft speed signal to obtain a modified crankshaft speed signal, and detect a misfire of the engine based on the modified crankshaft speed signal and a set of thresholds including at least one of a negative misfire threshold and a positive vibrational response threshold.

US 20170355272

Title: IN-VEHICLE STRUCTURE OF ELECTRIC-POWER CONVERTER

Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA (Toyota-shi, JP)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

In an in-vehicle structure described in the present specification, an electric-power converter is fixed onto a transaxle and positioned in front of a cowl top. The electric-power converter includes a capacitor configured to restrain a high-frequency fluctuation in a voltage of electric power supplied from a battery, and a discharge circuit configured to discharge the capacitor. A connector (a signal connector) to which a wiring harness for communication of a discharge instruction signal to operate the discharge circuit at a time of a collision is connected is provided on a side face of the electric-power converter, the side face of the electric-power converter being facing in a vehicle width direction.

US 9843234

Title: Electric machine for a vehicle, in particular for a utility vehicle, and method for protection against ingress of water

Assignee: MAN Truck & Bus AG (Munich, DE)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric machine for a vehicle, in particular for a utility vehicle, includes a rotor mounted rotatably on a shaft and a stator surrounding the rotor, at least one device of the electric machine located in at least one pressure chamber which is subjected at least intermittently to an overpressure which is elevated with respect to the ambient pressure. The over pressure in at least one pressure chamber protects against ingress of water

US 9843187

Title: System and method for aggregating electric vehicle loads for demand response events

Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, JP)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

A computer-implemented method for aggregating electric vehicle loads for demand response events includes receiving a demand response (DR) event request from a utility system indicative of a DR event for an area. The DR event request includes at least one event parameter for participation in the DR event. The method includes determining a first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) DR event load for the area based on the DR event request and charging data received from electric vehicles associated with a first OEM. Upon determining the first original OEM DR event load does not meet the at least one event parameter, the method includes aggregating charging data from electric vehicles associated with a second OEM with the first OEM DR event load to determine an aggregated DR load for the area.

US 9840164

Title: Electric vehicle

Assignee: SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION (Hamamatsu-Shi, Shizuoka-Ken, JP)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric vehicle capable of efficiently and reliably cooling a power converter disposed inside an exterior. An electric vehicle includes a frame extending in a longitudinal direction, a power converter being long in the longitudinal direction along the frame, and an exterior extending in the longitudinal direction to cover the frame and the power converter, the exterior defining a cooling air path between the power converter to allow cooling air to flow through the cooling air path along the longitudinal direction. The power converter extends in the longitudinal direction in the cooling air path, and includes a plurality of heat radiation fins protruding toward an inner surface of the exterior, and the exterior includes an air induction port provided at a front end of the cooling air path to allow travelling wind to flow into the cooling air path.

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Protecting Trade Secrets in India

How to protect TRADE SECRETS in India?

The primary goal of “Make in India” initiative was to make India a “Global Manufacturing Hub”. With both multinational companies and domestic companies manufacturing their products within the country, the significance of exports and the manufacturing sector in India has increased considerably. Several measures have been taken to ensure continuous and unending improvement of the Indian IP ecosystem in the country due to the need to extend such to exports for its proper commercialization.

Just as other Intellectual Property Rights, Trade Secrets are extremely valuable and sometimes even critical for a company’s growth and survival. Trade secret is a formula, process, device, method, technique or other business information having commercial value. This information is kept confidential and exclusive. Reasonable steps have been taken to maintain its secrecy to get competitive advantage over the competitors.   

For example, Trade secrets like Coca-Cola’s formula for its aerated drinks have been preserved for many decades and is not in the public domain.

India has no specific law for the protection of trade secrets. But, Article 39 of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement to which India is a signatory provides for the specific provision for the protection of undisclosed information.

Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement states that:

  1. In the course of ensuring effective protection against unfair competition as provided in Article 10b is of the Paris Convention (1967), Members shall protect undisclosed information in accordance with paragraph 2 and data submitted to governments or governmental agencies in accordance with paragraph 3.
  2. Natural and legal persons shall have the possibility of preventing information lawfully within their control from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without their consent in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices (10) so long as such information:                                                                                                                     (a) is secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question          (b) has commercial value because it is secret; and                                                        (c)

    has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it secret.

  3. Members, when requiring, as a condition of approving the marketing of pharmaceutical or of agricultural chemical products which utilize new chemical entities, the submission of undisclosed test or other data, the origination of which involves a considerable effort, shall protect such data against unfair commercial use. In addition, Members shall protect such data against disclosure, except where necessary to protect the public, or unless steps are taken to ensure that the data are protected against unfair commercial use.

     Unlike Patents and Copyrights which can be protected for about 20 years and 100 years respectively, trade secrets can potentially last much longer. A trade secret continues to remain a trade secret as long as any other person does not independently discover the information.Due to the absence of law for the protection of trade secrets, Indian courts have approached trade secrets protection on the basis of principles of equity, action of breach of confidence and contractual obligations.

    In India, a person can be contractually bound to not disclose any information which is told to him in confidence and if the person discloses the information, he/she can be sued for violating the Non-Disclosure Agreement.

    Companies can include a non-disclosure agreement in their employment contracts which prevents the employees to disclose any sensitive and confidential information regarding the company during their term of employment with the company or afterwards so that the secret is not spilled out. In cases where the trade secret is in a physical form like blueprints, files etc. a strict Security System should be in place so that this confidential information remains confidential.

    If your business relies on sensitive information that you would consider to be a trade secret, we encourage you to consult with a legal practitioner for advice on maximizing its protection.

    Patents | Intellectual Property India