Emerging Tech: AI, AR/VR, IoT, Automation

Any responsible manufacturer wants to ensure its new products are safe before introducing them to customers. Laboratory testing, however, is unlikely to identity every possible failure mode or misuse. This is especially true for products that incorporate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, AR/VR, automation, machine learning and smart devices (Internet of Things/IoT).

Our product liability attorneys are experienced in developing risk mitigation strategies for leading manufacturers with products that employ embedded software and disruptive new technologies, advising clients on:

  • Product safety testing and documentation;
  • Health and safety risk assessments;
  • Product warnings and instructions (often with outside experts);
  • Risk allocation strategies through contracting;
  • Privacy concerns; and
  • Dispute and litigation avoidance and preparedness measures.

We help manufacturers of emerging technologies identify and efficiently manage the risks most likely to affect a product’s commercial success. If claims or lawsuits do arise, we’re experienced at defending manufacturers against the unique liabilities that can be created by embedded software, connected customers, and novel technologies that create entirely new types of hazards. We also advise manufacturers on regulatory matters, including consumer product safety reporting, investigations, recalls and other corrective action programs, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Representative Matters

  • Advising a major software company regarding risk mitigation strategies for selling operating system as embedded software for third-party products.
  • Counseling manufacturers of augmented and virtual reality hardware regarding health and safety risk management.
  • Assisting manufacturers of connected consumer products, with investigating, reporting to product safety regulators, and remotely remedying potential safety issues.
  • Drafting terms and conditions of sale and advising on managing health and safety risks for consumer laser products.
  • Advising clients regarding use of on-line warranties under the E-Warranty Act.
  • Assisting manufacturers in the creation of mobile phone apps for user manuals and “how-to” content.
  • Advising clients on state, federal and international privacy regulations that apply to IoT technology.
  • Assisting client in preparation of hazard analysis and risk assessment for personal locator technology used in industrial environments for geofencing and safety mustering.
  • Defending automated control system manufacturer against allegations in subrogation action that client’s control system failed to prevent the manual opening of a valve that resulted in a large refinery explosion and fire.
  • Defending PID temperature controller manufacturer against allegations that product started a fire that destroyed a food processing plant.
  • Defending automated control system manufacturer against allegations that a control logic programming error damaged a steam turbine generator.
  • Representing client in dispute relating to post-production editing software used in the motion picture industry.
  • Representing client in dispute relating to smart electric metering technology.
  • Representing clients in patent, copyright and trade secret litigation relating to encryption technology and system security.
  • Representing clients in a license dispute relating to scope of use of imbedded firmware on chip technology for use in media and entertainment.
  • Representing client in patent litigation relating to methods for testing of CPUs.