Thursday, February 23, 2023

Q&A with Patent Scientist Bree A. Vculek

Bree A. Vculek is a patent scientist with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and a fourth year evening law student at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

She recently shared her thoughts on the patent industry with Patent Bots. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Patent Bots: What inspired you to pursue patent law?

Bree Vculek: I grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota. At a very early age, I was involved in scouting fields and reviewing test plots. Farmers and those in agriculture are incredibly innovative and meticulous. With so much uncertainty (weather, markets, etc.), they work hard to identify varieties, chemistries, and technologies that perform best within their operation.

Later, in my biotechnology graduate program at Texas A&M University, I got my first "taste" of intellectual property through the research and development of a mobile plant pathology diagnostic technology. At the conclusion of my internship, I participated in a strategic meeting between the scientists (me!) and legal and business development professionals. 

I was starstruck. I credit that meeting as a pivotal moment in my career. As I walked back to my office, I committed myself to being in more rooms like that and to understanding science, business, and the law. 

PB: What female role models influenced your development as a professional?

BV: I was born into a family of strong, independent, smart, and savvy women. Although not professionally trained in science or law, my mom, grandmas, and aunts were tremendous early influences in my professional development.

Beyond family, I’ve had a variety of dynamic academic and professional opportunities that included smart, compassionate, driven, innovative, and self-aware female role models. These women have influenced the way I show up in my day to day and how I strategically formulate and execute on my goals.

PB: What legal tech do you use in your own practice?

BV: Legal technology is an amazing asset necessary to do our best work and provide our clients with excellence. As a patent scientist, I’ve used legal technology to assist with case management, billing/time tracking, document management and automation, examiner statistics, and proofreading. 

I’m excited to continue to implement new legal technologies throughout my practice. It seems like something new emerges every day!

PB: On LinkedIn, you shared that you were interested in the intersection of AI and IP law. What are you expecting in 2023?

BV: As machine learning engineer Santiago L. Valdarrama said: "AI will not replace you, a person using AI will." 

The use of AI in intellectual property will only continue to grow. That raises questions like … 

  • How can we use AI to serve our clients and communities better as IP professionals?
  • What duty do we have to learn and implement AI tools into our practices?
  • How will we overcome the challenges that come with patenting AI?
  • How will we cite the support of AI in both inventorship and authorship? 

I think the discussion around these questions will continue to evolve throughout 2023 and beyond! 

PB: What is one thing you would change about the IP industry?

BV: I am still relatively new to the IP industry. That said, I think we as IP professionals can do more to build awareness for careers in IP. This is a really incredible, dynamic, and fulfilling field that many do not know exists. 

People often share with me that they "kind of fell into IP." That’s great (and true for me, too!) but I wonder how many talented professionals we’re missing because they didn’t know about careers in IP. 

I’ve made sharing awareness of our field a mini-mission of mine and I know many others are doing the same. The more the better!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Happy Fifth Birthday to Patent Bots!

Happy birthday to us! In February 2018, our founder and practicing patent attorney Jeff O'Neill officially created our company and launched the first version of the Patent Bots platform. 

We’ve come a long way since our founding five years ago. Today, the Patent Bots platform consists of four primary software-as-a-service applications. 

Here’s a quick look at the many ways our busy busy bots go to work for you in a typical month.  

  • We proofread 30,000 patents.
  • We help draft 3,500 applications.
  • We display 2,300 examiner stats pages.
  • We generate 2,300 patent family trees.
  • We predict art units for 1,500 applications.

Big thanks to all of YOU who’ve supported us through the years!