Adding value to our clients by protecting what matters.
A design patent protects the appearance of a physical or virtual object. We have obtained dozens of them for our clients.
We draft and prosecute patent applications for clients in Detroit and around the world. Our specialties are electronics, mechanical, software and optics.
We help discover inventions. We work directly with engineering teams to understand what they have invented – before they know it.
Years in business
Years engineering experience
Percent Allowance Rate
German Engineering meets Patent Law
Passionate about perfection
Axel founded Smartpat in 2007. He holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany. Axel came to Detroit in 2000 for General Motors, and never left. He has been a registered US patent agent since 2006. He has prosecuted patent applications in many different technology areas and is an expert in automotive electronics, infotainment systems, and autonomous vehicles.
Joseph has been working with Smartpat since 2016. He is a registered patent agent, fluent in English, German, French and Spanish. Joseph holds a Master of Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Arts, Loyola University of Chicago.
We are keeping overhead low to offer our clients better prices
Flat Rate: Design Patent Application
Flat rate: Low complexity application.
Flat rate: Medium complexity application.
We write about things we find interesting.
I am a patent agent, not a patent attorney. What’s the difference? A patent agent is someone who has passed the examination to practice before the USPTO (“the patent bar exam”), but who is not an attorney. That exam is the same for everyone. A state-licensed attorney, upon passing the patent bar exam, becomes a […]
This week we looked through a few autonomous vehicle patent applications: In US20170185089 Toyota claims a method of detecting overhanging objects in an external environment of an autonomous vehicle. It appears, the Toyota engineers are primarily concerned with trees, and whether the autonomous vehicle can drive below overhanging branches. The overhanging object are detected with a […]
Cruise Automation, GM’s expensive Silicon Valley outpost, is seeking to patent “A method for controlling an autonomous vehicle at an external interface, the method comprising: at an external interface, operably in communication with the autonomous vehicle: allowing an entity in a proximity of an outside of the autonomous vehicle to interact with the external interface; […]
Being accused of patent infringement is an expensive place to be. The accused infringer has options, but all of them are costly. One option is to initiate an Inter Partes Review (IPR) to invalidate the accuser’s patent, which can cost $100k just to initiate the proceedings. A complete IPR proceeding through PTAB hearing can cost […]
Getting humans and automated vehicles to play nicely together in the same lanes is a tricky task. Ford’s patent application US20170197626 recognizes the difficulty and suggests dedicated “AV-only lanes” – and a system how these dedicated lanes can be managed by a server. Also, finally there appears to be a legitimate use for DSRC V2X communication. […]
Mobileye’s patent application publication 20170203744 claims a method for assessing an overall system failure rate associated with a braking decisioning system for a vehicle. The system is based on the analysis of video data. It calculates a first failure based on a change in texture between images and a second failure rate based on optical flow. The specification […]
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1420 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226