Experiences of product engineering conceptual design with patent drafting
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Lloveras, Joaquim
Institution: Universitat Politčcnica de Catalunya, Spain
Section: Design Education
This paper reports an education experience on product engineering conceptual design and its relation to patent drafting conducted in a technical university. Students have been required to draft patents since the 1993/94 academic year. The experience shows that drafting a patent is a good help to improve product designs and also to obtain new alternative solutions. This teaching system is contrasted upon completion of courses with anonymous student opinion polls. This long research work has resulted in a Product Engineering course in product innovation through a structured process in order to obtain a patentable Conceptual Design and to draft a patent. The present paper summarises this process. A case study of an old patent shows several items that serve to improve the design and are frequently repeated in every new patent draft. Several patent applications were made with students. The Conclusions section provides a list of characteristics that improve this general process of conceptual design when including the drafting of a patent.