That’s me:
Friederike Stephan

Here I am making friends with a camel. That was in the desert in Oman. Travel has long been a big part of my life.

My education: I have a master’s degree in “Marine Geosciences” with a focus on geophysics, was involved in research for a few years and sailed around the world on research vessels . Subsequently (from 2012) I started my training as a patent attorney, worked in a patent law firm, the German Patent and Trademark Office and the German Patent Court and have now been working as a patent assessor in a large DAX-listed company for several years. Here I have familiarized myself quite deeply with electrotechnical topics. Since 2022, I am also a European Patent Attorney. That cost me 8 years (check out my blog post on this)

I see myself as a person with very special expertise who likes to pass on his knowledge. It is important to me to leave something positive in my lifetime.

The challenge

I have been working closely with developers and decision-makers on a daily basis for several years and have noticed that I am asked the same questions over and over again.

In small and medium-sized companies without their own patent department, patent issues are a challenge. The patent world seems incredibly complicated and hardly understandable. And yet you need them to secure your own innovations and to position yourself successfully on the market.

It is often not clear what possibilities there are for patents, what is worthy of patenting and how decisions on patents should be made. There is a fear of doing things wrong because you constantly feel on uncertain ground. Communication with the lawyers also seems difficult. You seem to constantly talk past each other.

Questions arise such as: What is the patent attorney actually doing? Why do I not recognize my invention in the patent application at all? Why does he do this or that and maybe he even rips me off? The bills seem very high to me…

In short, there is an information deficit. And that causes stress.

However, compensating for this deficit is not so easy. Because lawyers often have no time/desire for basic explanations and other sources such as good books or courses are scarce.

The result is that competitors with great ideas pass you by and become dangerous competition.

The solution

Patent training. With me.

I have been “at home” for over 10 years in both German and European patent law as well as in the PCT (international patent applications).

In addition, I have been working for more than 7 years in one of the largest in-house patent departments in Germany. And yet I also know the work in a law firm – that’s where I did my patent attorney training.

But above all, it is important to me HOW I convey the knowledge. I regularly sit in lectures by lawyers myself who present PowerPoint slides crammed with paragraphs and other text. For two hours. I am then mentally absent after two minutes at the latest. You can’t learn like that! That’s why I deal with edutainment (Education + Entertainment). With how to make good speeches. How to incorporate stories. I also have slides, but mine are full of pictures and stories.

And I know how you feel.
Firstly, because I myself was at the very beginning. Over time, I have always learned bit by bit. But the big picture came quite late. That was not conveyed. And that was nowhere to be read.
Second, because I talk to inventors every day and I know what struggles they have. What they struggle with every day. What questions and challenges they have.

With me you don’t get complicated and cryptic explanations. With me it is simple, entertaining and with many practical exercises. So that you can use things directly in your everyday life.

You are welcome to make an impression yourself and look at my content on social media:
I post on LinkedIn (feel free to connect with me there), have a podcast and can be found on YouTube .

For whom?

My content is particularly relevant for developers, decision-makers, managers or generally employees in companies who have points of contact with patent law. I will guide you through everything you need to know in your daily work. From the criteria for patentability via the writing of invention notifications to inventor remuneration. Introduction of incentive systems, managing decision-making processes and build up a patent portfolio. That’s what you can learn with me. And then sleep peacefully again.

However, the contents can also be interesting for freelance inventors who want to acquire a basic knowledge in order to be better prepared in discussions with patent attorneys. This way, “no one can fool you anymore” and you can assess for yourself whether the lawyer’s suggestions make sense in your situation or not.

Legal advice?

“Do you also provide legal advice?” I am asked this question from time to time. Through my podcast and activity on social media, people come to me from time to time who want to work with me.

Nevertheless, the answer to the above question is a “no”. I don’t provide legal advice. I see myself as a pure “trainer”. I pass on patent knowledge in general, explain connections and create “aha moments” with my clients. But I don’t give advice on individual cases. This is a matter for the (law firm) lawyers.

I’m more like a “bridge builder”. Bridge builder between clients and lawyers. My work has advantages for the clients and for the lawyers at the same time.

My clients are picked up where they are with their knowledge and receive the knowledge (theoretical and practical) they need for a good foothold with patents. They notice how complex patent law is and at the same time I make everything more transparent. They realize that the things lawyers do make sense. All of a sudden, they understand connections that they have not seen before.

Now the question arises as to why I am needed. Can’t the law firms do the same? Sure, they can. However, most of them do not have time for it or they do not want to do this activity.

I know some patent attorneys who prefer to focus on writing applications, answering examination notices, and litigating cases just by virtue of the work they do. And that is also completely legitimate.

For me, however, patent training is a favorite task. In return, I like doing other activities less.

The other day I had a conversation with a person I met through LinkedIn. This person had an apt phrase: “Of course, we also do general counseling, but not as enthusiastically as you.”

My clients don’t just go out afterwards with a good basic knowledge that helps them in everyday life and the communication with their lawyer is easier. You are also really interested in patents. Because I somehow embody the fun myself ­čÖé

 

And what do the lawyers get out of it?
– Clients who really like to engage in patents
– Clients filing invention disclosures, which are easily converted into patent applications (= more time- and cost-saving for clients)
– Reibungslosere Kommunikation mit den Mandanten, es kommt nicht so oft zu Missverst├Ąndnissen
– Clients where they can focus on their favorite tasks
– Valuable professional addition to their range of consulting services (through my industrial experience, in relation to employee invention law, etc.)

I will continue to receive requests for legal advice. That’s why I’m currently building up a network of lawyers whom I personally trust and whom I am happy to recommend. For example, after only 4 days that my podcast episode with Matthias Winter in the interview was online (and there was still a weekend in between!), there was already a client request for him. That really made me very happy.

I am always open for getting to know each other and look forward to new contacts!