Robert Watters, IDSA
Instructor at the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
Robert Watters is an educator responsive to ensuring effective student learning, delivering innovative and fundamental educational experiences, and partnering with his faculty team. He is an industrial designer who strives to understand and satisfy the full suite of stakeholder needs and emerging product needs and constraints to arrive at a successful product. From an active career with a high-capability design consultancy, he has been exposed to a broad range of product development projects and processes. He focuses on nurturing innovation and its protection through patenting, with inventorship on 50+ patents, and has a keen interest in applying design to a broad spectrum of products, including sustainable solutions.
Leveraging Designers for Patent Content
Rapid Fire Session
Wed - Sept. 22
Growth through innovation is critical to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the use of patents is necessary to attract needed funding. SMEs’ use of the patent system is not as effective as larger companies. This research inquiry considers product development stakeholder’s knowledge to increase the relevance of patent disclosure content for more successful patents and business competitiveness. This empirical research uses a mixed method questionnaire to gain insight from product development experts that include design, marketing, engineering, upper management, entrepreneur and legal representation. The subset of collected participant data that isthe subject of this paper is focused on challenges with gaining access to the team’s relevant information for inclusion in patents. The quantitative and qualitative data identifies barriers to the acquisition of this knowledge. Additionally, insight generation techniques are applied to arrive at solution approaches that include interdisciplinary activities to facilitate tacit to explicit information transfer. The industrial designer is identified as having attributes and knowledge that could be developed to assist the cross-boundary communication needed to acquire new knowledge from product development stakeholders for more valuable and future-effective patents.