Pure Storage’s in-house attorneys have underscored innovation and collaboration in their approach to patent strategy—and the results over the past year or so have been pretty staggering.
The company, which employs seven in-house attorneys, managed to file 231 patent applications on Pure Storage innovations from July 2016 through June 2017. This is an increase of over 100 percent from the number of applications filed in the period of July 2015 through June 2016.
So, how do they do it?
Michael Moore, director of product legal services at Pure Storage, explained that much of this success is all about the legal team’s ability to “offload a lot of the burden off engineers” that comes with the process of filing applications. Engineers at the company have told Moore that the Pure Storage legal team’s efforts have made it much easier to do business.
It often takes hours for engineers from within larger companies to sit down and put together invention disclosure forms, which can be a deterrent to the patent process. By contrast, at Pure Storage, the legal department and outside counsel will sit down with the engineer for an interview that usually takes about 20 minutes, and the IP team and lawyers will draft a disclosure based on the interview, have the engineer review it, then submit it to Pure Storage’s internal patent review board.
“It’s easy for [the engineers], just grab a cup of coffee and talk to us,” said Moore.
Pure Storage’s legal team has worked hard to develop metrics and processes around its strategic defensive patenting work.
“We look at IP as both an important asset and a strategic deterrent,” Moore said.
According to Moore, metrics leveraged by the legal team include total patent applications and granted patents per product, per geography, and per technology category. As far as processes are concerned, the legal and technical teams meet regularly and review competitive product offerings and public collateral as well as identify Pure Storage patented IP that could have relevance to these competitive product offerings.