“Patent Filings Offer Details of ICON’s Potential Trip to the Moon”

April 18, 2024

In an op-ed published by ENR (Engineering News-Record) on April 18, 2024, our partner and patent attorney Kate Nuehring Su offers a unique perspective about innovation that could be happening on the moon, as evidenced by recent patent filings. A construction company was recently awarded a nearly $60 million NASA contract to research and develop systems to support lunar construction. Recent patent applications underscore plans to put 3D printers on the moon by 2040.

Kate points out that patent filings provide valuable intelligence when evaluating a company’s strategic goals. “By monitoring a competitor’s patenting activity, a company can glean valuable intel regarding their competitors’ current innovative endeavors and possible future plans, which can serve as a competitive advantage in the company’s own endeavors,” Kate writes.

Further, she says, “a nuanced understanding of shifts in the overall patent landscape for a particular technical field can be useful in determining the direction that an industry is headed. This allows a company to adjust its own strategic objectives and file patent applications to stake out rights on its own moonshots, however terrestrial they may be.”

Readers interested in learning more about the patent filings involving lunar innovation and how they serve as an example for businesses of all types may read Kate’s article "Patent Filings Offer Details of ICON's Potential Trip to the Moon" in ENR.

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