Career Experience: Patents Liaison


Tasked with creating spare parts for competitors' products, a brand new business unit of a major Aerospace Company was directed by their legal counsel to hire a Patents Engineer/Liaison. Impressed with my combination of aerospace and intellectual property experience (and, immediate availability), they hired me for the position.

Shortly after starting my job I quickly discovered that they had no formal "patent clearance" process - a discovery that filled me with both excitement and trepidation: It was an opportunity to define, create and execute a process and its' underlying procedures for this new business unit.

Over the next seven years I performed a wide variety of tasks, including:
  • features definition & documentation
  • patents mining & research using a variety of patent databases
  • preliminary engineering analysis of patent claims
  • patent portfolio landscaping & analysis
  • patentability studies
  • claims invalidity studies
  • Freedom-to-Operate studies
  • monitoring competitors' publications, both manually and automatically
  • technology landscaping
  • the occasional "G-Job"
  • ...and even obtaining a US Patent (as a co-inventor)!
As many of these tasks were being performed for the first time by this firm, my responsibilities expanded to include writing dedicated programs to handle, reduce, and analyze data, defining & writing procedures, developing & providing training, hiring colleagues, and proposing databases to catalog all of the work.

Some Work Examples...

Here are a couple examples of the many tasks I worked on during this period in my career:

At right is an example of a Freedom-to-Operate Study on alloys being contemplated for the hot section of an industrial gas turbine. A custom Excel macro extracted the chemical elements and ranges from each alloy's patent, which were then entered into a spreadsheet, with a second Excel macro creating the resulting chart. Note that company-sensitive information has been redacted.
(Click image to enlarge)
Alloys Comparison Chart
Following intellectual property research and analysis on the known characteristics of a particular turbine blade for an industrial gas turbine, patents relevant to specific features of the blade are indicated on a Technology Insertion Chart. In the original chart, patents were color-coded according to criteria such as Assignee, Status, Relevance, etc.
(Click image to enlarge)
Technology Insertion Chart

For More Information...

The examples above are only two of many from my Intellectual Property Liaison work:  and I'll send you login credentials to access the password-protected content.