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Most engineers are aware of the existence of patents. Indeed the preparation of patent disclosures is an important aspect of most research engineering job functions. Yet for many engineers the world of patents remains shrouded in a cloud of mystery. In this paper we try to dispel some of the mystery surround the quasi-technical, quasi-legal nature of patents and provide a set of practical, hand-on, guidelines to the patent literature from an engineer's perspective.
Date of Conference: 11-14 Jan. 2013