In Case You Missed It...

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The Dashboard Insights team is taking the week of Thanksgiving off. We know this is a busy time of year for everyone and that means even our most loyal readers could have missed a post or two over the last few weeks. If that applies to you, fear not!

Listed below are five of our most recent, and most popular, posts. If you need to catch-up, we recommend you start here: Continue reading this entry

Are You Planning for Telematics?

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The automotive industry is continually called upon to deliver components and technologies that enhance the interconnectivity of vehicles, a.k.a., telematics. In fact, the global telematics market is poised to grow exponentially in the next 10 years, with approximately 104 million new cars expected to have some form of connectivity by 2025. It is estimated that 16 million new cars with embedded telematics will be sold in the United States alone by that time. Continue reading this entry

Suppliers Remain Cautiously Optimistic per OESA Survey

Suppliers Get Ready For Your Recalls

OESA recently released its Automotive Supplier Barometer for November 2014. The November Supplier barometer focused on Human Resources issues related to staffing benefits and training. The Supplier Sentiment Index (SSI) is the same as the September level, at 56, reflecting a positive outlook for suppliers. However, as the OESA notes, the warranty/recall issues in the United States and global economic and political volatility have driven the SSI downward this year. Continue reading this entry

Protect Your Safety Investigations and Deliberations From Prying Eyes

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Every day companies deal with an ongoing safety analysis of their own products. These Safety Teams are routinely interdepartmental. The Safety Teams must consider design changes, manufacturing issues, potential recalls, potential claims or lawsuits and overall consumer safety. Sensitive information is always shared by the Safety Team. Companies believe (or hope) that the process, including any documents and information, is all confidential until a lawsuit ensues and much of the Safety Team’s work is revealed. What can you do to preserve the privilege? How do you safeguard this information? This is not an unusual scenario. However, it is one that companies routinely fail to protect themselves from. Continue reading this entry

When It Comes to Confidentiality Agreements, Just Getting the Signature Is Not Enough

New Federal Trade Secret Protections on the Horizon?

Automotive suppliers and other manufacturers frequently have to share their valuable intellectual property with third parties. A supplier might need to share CAD files with another supplier to ensure that the finished product works, or a business that has designed a product may outsource the manufacturing to a business that can better handle production. Parties to such arrangements frequently sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding disclosure or unauthorized use of the design before proceeding with their arrangement. But is the confidentiality agreement ironclad at that point?

Not necessarily. In nClosures, Inc. v. Block & Co., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Illinois law, held that a confidentiality agreement entered into between a product designer and manufacturer was unenforceable, because the owner of the confidential information had not taken reasonable steps to protect its confidentiality. Continue reading this entry