1. Growth in Government and Commercial Use  Infrastructure and agricultural applications will continue to lead commercial growth. Unmanned aircraft are vital to sustaining the nation’s aging infrastructure, from inspecting bridges and pipelines to prioritizing the repair of critical works in the aftermath of natural disasters. Drones are increasingly utilized to combat the effects of climate change, giving farmers additional tools for monitoring water needs and crop health, and giving firefighters the ability to better coordinate wildfire response efforts.
  2. Effects of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Rule Changes – In April 2021, the FAA loosened its rules for commercial operations of small drones (those weighing less than 55 lbs). Previously, such unmanned aircraft were generally not allowed to fly over people, fly at night, or be out of the line of sight of the operator without an FAA waiver. Now, these drones can operate at concerts, sporting events, and for security purposes, albeit with certain constraints. Watch for new players and more dollars in e-commerce package delivery via drones in coming years.
  3. A Potential $64 Billion Industry Primed for Investment – Just as the FAA’s last major rule change in 2016 helped fuel commercial drone operations, the regulator’s 2021 changes may encourage even greater market growth. With predictions that the global drone industry will be worth around $64 billion by 2025, analysts expect more investors will participate.
  4. NASA’s Aircraft and Drone Traffic Management System – NASA’s Air Traffic Management eXploration project aims to smoothly integrate more and more drones into a crowded U.S. airspace. Safety, both for manned aircraft and persons on the ground, will be paramount to continued growth of the commercial drone industry, especially over urban areas.
  5. Reduced Insurance Premiums Driving Mainstream Adoption – Utilities and other companies are rethinking how they perform inspections, maintenance, and repairs – especially when replacing risky manned activities with drones can substantially reduce a company’s general liability insurance premiums. Imagine using a flying camera to safely inspect high-voltage power lines from the ground instead of trying to hover a helicopter close enough for a lineman – sitting on the skids – to have a proper look. This tactic will soon be deployed whenever possible, such as in the construction industry which has benefited from time and cost savings during required visual site inspections.
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Photo of Todd Basile Todd Basile

Todd helps technology companies and investors protect and commercialize their innovations across a wide range of industries including software, robotics, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, and aerospace.

His practice offers a full suite of IP-related legal services including:

  • Patents – Developing portfolios tailored to

Todd helps technology companies and investors protect and commercialize their innovations across a wide range of industries including software, robotics, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, and aerospace.

His practice offers a full suite of IP-related legal services including:

  • Patents – Developing portfolios tailored to your company’s particular goals such as attracting investment, protecting market share, or having bargaining chips in disputes with competitors
  • M&A and Investment – Helping investors understand what they are buying and mitigating the associated risks; helping sellers position their technology assets to maximize company valuation and attract (and close) funding opportunities
  • Tech Transactions – Negotiating partnerships to grow the company, while protecting your IP and technology and minimizing business disruption should future problems arise
  • Freedom to Operate – Guiding product design to avoid infringing third-party patent rights
  • Software Development & Licensing – Navigating the numerous software-related legal issues such as ownership, subscription licensing (SaaS), control, data privacy and security, source code escrow, and open source software (OSS) risks

Prior to becoming an attorney, Todd was an engineer at Bell Helicopter where he designed cutting-edge aerospace technologies and software. Todd also helped develop electromechanical control systems for military drones at Smiths Aerospace during his undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech, and clerked at St. Jude Medical’s Neuromodulation Division during law school.