Hi. I have a dilemma about some of my “confidential projects”. There are some patents listed my name as one of inventors, but those designs are never been produced. The patent documents are publicly exposed in many patents engines. I understand that technically I can’t talk about the project since I’ve signed NDAs. But I’m just wondering if it’s okay to have them in my portfolio if I don’t exposed too much information. Or at least can I bring them to in-person interviews? Any advices would be appreciated.
Simple answer yes, they are available to the public. it is no different then showing a product shot found on the web of an item you designed.
Right, if the information is public domain then it’s fine.
Though in general, if you shouldn’t disclose information about the product that is not listed in the patent filing, showing it may not be that valuable since most patents are very abstract. If it’s a brilliant idea and it was primarily yours that’s fine, but if you’re one of many inventors it may not have a lot of merit in the portfolio discussion - that call is up to you though.
Thank you both for your response. I was one of 5-9 inventors for the projects including names from clients, but was main designer for the project.
Luckily the patent documents illustrate pretty much appearance, functionality, and complexity of projects (spend almost 1-2 years).
In general, I list my patents. I discuss them as a solution to a problem. If that patent relates to a certain monetary savings or gain, I focus on that then risk violating the NDA. At my experience level, discussing tangible business numbers and solutions in my work has become more valuable than my portfolio.
Same, often the object I’m talking about is only a tool to discuss process innovation, go to market strategy, org change, and business impact… but people still like to have something to look at. I’m amazed when people come in for a more senior design positions and they discuss design the way a fresh grad would… on the flip side, when a candidate with just a couple of years experience comes in talking too much about the big picture, it makes me feel like they are not focusing enough on design, and that I’m being sold too hard. It is a gentle balance I suppose.