IP Review, Iss. 24, Winter 2008/2009 at 13, profiles the German automotive components company, Bosch. It explains that the large IP team of Bosch has two sector-specific patent groups (mechanical and electronic), a licensing expert, a trademark specialist, and an anti-counterfeiting team, “which has its own network of brand protection experts in key sales locations around the world.” Even though Bosch doesn’t sell as much to individual consumers as to businesses, it cares about counterfeits of its products (See my post of May 5, 2008: Lenovo law department is very involved; June 11, 2008: vendors that locate and acquire fake products; Sept. 9, 2008: outside law department’s budget; and Oct. 11, 2008: role of law departments in anti-counterfeiting.).
The IP department works closely with a group of Strategic Patent Portfolio Managers “who provide the link in the chain between innovation and registration.” Those Managers spot potentially patentable innovations and convey the information to the patent lawyers. It sounds as if the Managers take part in patent disclosure committees, but not the lawyers (See my post of March 23, 2008: invention disclosure committees; Oct. 10, 2006: examples at Dial and Avery Dennison; July 25, 2007: Halliburton Energy; April 8, 2006: University of Virginia; Sept. 25, 2008: LexisNexis initiatives; Dec. 4, 2006: set patent strategy at Palm; and June 25, 2008: patent lawyers pay off.).