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 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.
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.
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.