As an engineer in New Product Development, you are expected to know how to work with patents unless you are told otherwise. For example, the new things you design are expected to avoid all rival unexpired patents - else your company could be sued by a patent owner, prevented from continuing to sell the new things you designed, etc.
Have not done much with patents? (No one ever taught you about patents?) Not sure you know how to search for patents, or which part of a patent you should avoid in the new things you design? If so, the Patent Ready® book can help. Written by an engineer-turned-patent attorney, this book orients about patents. It is easy to read, as it uses more than 60 custom-created diagrams - just like engineering textbooks do. Better yet, you can read the book over 3 Saturdays as part of a self-study course, with curated sample patents, etc..
This is the patent book I have been looking for in my whole career! Thomas Falk
Senior Design Engineer
Do you have a quick patent question? See whether the Patent Ready® Study Guide happens to address it - it is a freely-downloadable and searchable .pdf.
ENGINEERING NOTEBOOK: Companies typically issue each of their engineers an Engineering Notebook for capturing their ideas and designs. If your company has not given you one, then consider using the Patent Ready® Engineering Notebook: it enables you to capture your ideas in an augmented ("canvas") format, and further has spaces for you to perform an initial patent analysis on these ideas. This analysis will help you determine whether these ideas are new enough to report to the company for patenting, with you as the named inventor.
YOUR COMPANY'S PATENTING PROCESS: Companies typically have a process for team members to report their inventions for patenting. Typically this process requires the team member to fill in and submit an invention reporting form ("IRF"). If your company does not have an IRF, then perhaps you can create one by downloading and adapting our sample started Invention Reporting Form. Then you can use it to capture your idea, and ask with your manager whether there is a Patent Committee to evaluate it, and so on. For more on this topic, see the Patent Ready® book.
The Patent Ready® book will not replace a patent attorney; more specifically, it will not help one make legal determinations that pertain to one's specific facts. And consulting or downloading our materials does not form an attorney-client relationship, and is not receiving legal advice; these materials may be used for preparation in dealing with one's own patent attorney.