One of the biggest complements that I’ve ever gotten in my career was receiving an honorable mention on a patent. It happened to be on an ultrasonic breast imager. We were able to miniaturize the existing art so it was ergonomically more useful to the technician performing the test.
It’s only an honorable mention because I don’t own the patent. Nordex never seeks to own a patent when we develop something with another company’s engineering team. Our goal is to help them with their design so that we get the opportunity to build it – that’s where our business is. Our business is not filing patents; it’s helping our customers. But once in a while, a customer will specifically name us on the patent. But I’ve either pre-signed away the rights to the patent or – if they forgot to do that – I sign away the rights to the patent after it’s done.
This is important, because I want our customers to continue to come to us as a source for engineering help and advice, and a source for supplying them what they need. They need to feel safe that they can bring us their ideas and that we won’t try to insert ourselves into the profit stream or try to lay claim to what they’re trying to develop. Like I said, our goal is to manufacture product for our customer – not write patents. It’s THEIR patent. But it’s really a big complement to us when we actually get named on a patent.