This website illustrates how Civil Engineers may make greater use of the Global Patent System to Promote Progress in their Field.
The American Founders included Patent Rights in the United States Constitution to Promote Progress.
UC Berkeley:  Structures and Materials Laboratory
Top Innovators
      The Structures and Materials Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley comprises one of the top resources for creating civil engineering innovation in the United States.  Patenting the innovations developed at the Structures and Materials Laboratory could provide the link that turns R&D discoveries into widespread industry practices.  The Structures and Materials Lab may leverage the capabilities of some of its robust testing resources to produce intellectual property through a patenting plan focused on optimizing structural design.    

     The Structures and Materials Laboratory includes a vast amount of testing equipment with great patenting potential:  numerous Universal Testing Machines (e.g., the 4,000,000 lb UTM “Jonah”), shaking tables, and a torsional testing capability.  The Lab also draws on superb support resources, ranging from numerous actuators, sensors, and reaction frames to a robust control, data acquisition, machining, and hydraulic power complex.  Such testing capabilities put UC Berkeley into an elite group of American R&D centers for civil engineering.    

     A patent plan integrated with the Laboratory’s other engineering goals could help to leverage Berkeley’s powerful testing tools to produce significant intellectual property, which only a handful of other civil engineering testing centers could even begin to produce.  The Structures and Materials Laboratory may serve as the testing muscle to discover breakthrough designs for handling, for example, seismic loads, tension, compression, flexure, shear, torsion, fatigue, and fracture.  The Laboratory’s capability to produce solid testing data would significantly strengthen civil engineering patent claims.  The key lies in directing patent attorneys trained in civil engineering technologies to prepare and file patent applications prior to publicly revealing laboratory results.    

     In contrast to many junk patents flooding the U.S. and global intellectual property systems, UC Berkeley’s innovative civil engineering patents, underpinned by the vast testing resources of the Structures and Materials Laboratory, would stand apart.  Claiming optimal designs that shave off construction costs and enable formerly “impossible” architecture, from which rivals may be excluded, would provide cost and competitive edges absolutely in demand in the marketplace.  Large construction, engineering, and architectural firms would most likely welcome teaming with UC Berkeley via patent licensing agreements, thereby gaining access to the patented technology developed by the Structures and Materials Laboratory and using those patents to seize marketplace opportunities.  Due to its impressive testing capabilities, the Structures and Materials Laboratory would start in pole position for patenting efforts designed to build a commercially viable patent licensing portfolio.
A Possible Patenting Plan