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 from each patented alloy, which were then entered into a spreadsheet. A second Excel macro then created the resulting chart. Note that company-sensitive information has been redacted.
|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.
For More Information...
The examples above are only two of many from my Intellectual Property Liaison work:
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