CIVIL ENGINEERING & PATENT LAW  
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.
UT Austin:  Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory
Top Innovators
      The Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory (FSEL) at the University of Texas at Austin ranks as one of the leading resources for creating civil engineering innovation in the world.  Patenting the FSEL's innovations could turn numerous lab discoveries into widespread industry practices.  Ferguson may leverage the capabilities of some of its robust testing capabilities to produce intellectual property through a patenting plan focused on optimizing structural design.     

     The Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory includes an impressive amount of testing equipment with great patenting potential, arrayed across a 45,000 square foot floor plan.  The lab's Three-Dimensional Reaction System has a testing capacity ranging up to 300,000 lbs.  The FSEL also includes a titanic structural test floor and fatigue test slab.  Ferguson's High-Temperature Test Facility has chambers designed to withstand testing temperatures of up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit and includes several UTMs, with the largest topping out at a capacity of 550,000 lbs.  A Large-Scale Beam Test Facility, able to apply loads of up to 4,000,000 lbs, provides yet another Ferguson testing capability.  Even among the elite American R&D centers, the FSEL still stands out as a giant for furthering civil engineering innovation.    

    
A patent plan integrated with the Laboratory’s other engineering goals could help to leverage Austin’s powerful testing tools into a leading civil engineering source of intellectual property.  Experts may use the impressive resources of the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory to discover breakthrough designs for handling, for example, seismic loads, tension, compression, flexure, shear, torsion, fatigue, and fracture.  The FSEL’s capability to furnish 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, UT Austin’s innovative civil engineering patents, underpinned by the vast testing resources of the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, could help to technologically lead the industry.  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 likely welcome teaming with UT Austin via patent licensing agreements, thereby gaining access to the patented technology developed by the FSEL and using those patents to seize marketplace opportunities.  Due to its impressive testing capabilities, the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory would start in pole position for efforts to build a commercially viable patent licensing portfolio.
A Possible Patenting Plan