What is Patent Thinking?

Patent Thinking is a design methodology invented by Illai Gescheit which combines Patent Design and Design Thinking. Using the methodology teams, startups, academia and enterprises develop new ideas and processes by prototyping patent applications. The methofology includes principles from technology, product management, product design, and the business world.

Patents are one of the most classic forms of innovation and invention description. They have clear rules and structure. The idea of the patent system is to allow inventors the sole rights for their inventions in return to making their knowledge available to the public. A great patent is one which a person skilled in the art, hence an engineer, scientist and even an artist, can read the patent application and build the product.

Most people see patents as a business and legal tool to protect their inventions from copying and competitors. Years of experience in product design, startups and patent drafting led me to understand that patents are a creative and structred way people can create new ideas and innovate. It is not only a legal tool which protects your invention, but a way mindful and creative thinking process which lead to new inventions and improvements.

The Patent Thinking Process

The Patent Structure

The Patent Thinking methodology uses the classic patent structure to construct ideation and problem solving mindset. To understand the users, their needs, the technology and challenges. Practicing Patent Thinking we learn to value the patent structure and use it to organize our thoughts and ideas which focuses on solving problems.

Inventors are storytellers

Inventors are storytellers. They tell the story of how people use their products and services, how it solves a problem and how it makes an impact and change the world.

Explore tools to build the structure of your Patent and Product Story

Tell us your story

Have you used Patent Thinking with your team? Have you participated in a PT workshop? Did you invented or designed an innovative Product and would like to share your experience?

Katy Holmes
"Using Patent thinkin made me iterate and create new ideas which led me build my own startup two years ago."

Katy Holmes
"Using Patent thinkin made me iterate and create new ideas which led me build my own startup two years ago."

Katy Holmes
"Using Patent thinkin made me iterate and create new ideas which led me build my own startup two years ago."

The Story Behind Patent Thinking

Illai Gescheit has a very diverse background and experience. His first job was in a medical startup as a Patent Engineer and Draftsman. He arrived to the compnany to help with some Power Point presentations but grew to a whole different direction. He leared how to build patent flows and design patents on his own and joined the Patent team. He combined art, design and his love to technology to work together with engineers, product experts, lawyers, physicians and executives to develop new ideas and led their development into patent applications. After the compnay was acquired by Roche, Illai developed the Innovation space in the company working on ideation, creativity, design thinking and more.

Illai also founded his own startups Mobifile and then started mentoring and advising to entrepreneurs and startups in technological fields including ideation, product development and Intellectual Property. He is a mentor in IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator, LeadWith Wix Accelerator, Code.org and more.

Working with entrepreneurs, engineers and prouct people, he found that designing a patent is usually considered mundane and not related to the designing and development process. However, Illai found that thinking like an inventor can lead to many interesting ideas and that designing a patent does not only protect your ideas as a legal tool. He developed a methodology called Patent Thinking which combines design thinking and patent design to create new ideas, test them and then go on to production and even filing a patent.

To learn more about Illai and what he is up to


Patent thinking is a multi-dimendsional thinking. Patent drafting is considered as a linear process. The development team develops a product or a technology and then the patent is written, drafted, gets a legal perspective and filed. As depicted in the Circular Design Guide modern design process is circular and not linear. Patent Thinking is a non-linear process in which you iterate on your ideas, problems and at the same time have to expand your ideas and focus on specific problems and solutions.




The Change of The Roles of Patents

Patents are known as a legal tool to protect your idea, product or services from others to copy or sell it. It is also used as a business tool to raise capital by technology compnaies and create financial opportunities by liscencing patents to other compnaies.

The new role of patents is in helping to develop and catalyze new ideas and design new product

"Patent Thinking is about building bridges from people to solutions and not building a wall around solutions that prevent people to use them and innovate"

- Illai Gescheit

We are All Inventors

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