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Send in-house patent lawyers to sit periodically with researchers

According to IP Law & Bus., Vol. 6, Sept. 2008 at 42, one of the practices at 3M Co. is to have its patent lawyers “not only attend meetings of the management teams and operating committee, but even keep regular office hours in the business units’ labs.”

Circuit riding means regular face time with distant clients (See my post of June 20, 2008: importance of physical proximity to clients for knowledge of the business; and Oct. 8, 2007: proximity helps but familiarity is even more crucial.). For busy researchers and inventors, patent counsel out of sight are out of mind. Many in-house counsel should get out of the house, so to speak, and regularly visit their clients.