IP management groups and their relationship to the law department

Avery Dennison, a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive technology and self-adhesive products that maintains more than 740 US patents, created an IP Management (IPM) group to manage IP decisions across different business units, geographies, and technologies (Thomson Scientific’s KnowledgeLink Newsletter, Aug. 2005 at 1). IPM coordinates with several areas within Avery Dennison, including Intellectual Property and Legal.

By comparison, Honeywell International, a $23 billion diversified technology and manufacturing company, has been issued roughly 13,000 patents world-wide, and obtains approximately 500 new US patents each year. Honeywell has 25 IP lawyers located in various business units around the world. Supporting them is a central patent-services staff that manages the docket and coordinates international filings.

Two prolific inventors; two divergent approaches to the roles of patent lawyers.

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