The authors surveyed 315 patent practitioners with respect to both the engineering education coursework and engineering work experience that they seek in the transcripts and resumes of interview candidates entering their organizations. This set of technology professionals uses engineering education in support of innovation in early stages of technology development and therefore possesses an unexplored view of the research that will influence the needs of the engineering workforce for product development roles by 2020. An understanding of the educational needs of patent practitioners is useful to engineering education because patent practitioners tend to address global opportunities by handling cases in front of the patent offices of multiple countries. Specifically, it is common for a patent practitioner to represent and supervise the representation of applicants on a single family of patent cases in front of multiple patent offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas, thereby receiving uncommon global exposure to the opportunities and challenges represented by differing market conditions and differences in cultural norms with respect to both technology and communication.


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