(What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?)
“Good advice: Favor action over indecisiveness, and correct course if need be. Learn to excel in a few areas that complement each other. Work to gain an understanding of psychology, especially your own.
Bad advice: Anyone telling you who you should become. “
Mr. Jeff Vockrodt advises companies on patent matters involving chemical and life science technologies, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology inventions. Jeff has overseen the preparation and prosecution of hundreds of patent applications involving a wide range of technologies, including additive manufacturing and biopharmaceutical patents. Jeff has served as lead counsel in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Jeff is a registered patent attorney with a chemical engineering background. He served for four years as patent examiner before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a law clerk in the US International Trade Commission before entering private practice. He is currently a partner at Arent Fox LLP and adjunct professor teaching IP, Regulation & Compliance for Biotechnology at Katz Business School, Yeshiva University.
Jeff Vockrodt will be speaking at the Washington D.C event
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?
Jeff: A client of mine asked me to oversee the preparation of hundreds of patent applications, mostly involving metal-based AM. Once I had fully delved into the subject matter, my mind began buzzing with all of the possibilities for this exciting technology. I realized quickly that our standard practices in patent law would be stretched in protecting this technology, and it would lead to many opportunities for creative problem solving to help investors, entrepreneurs, and corporations adapt to this technology.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing?
Jeff: I’m excited about how 3d bio-printing has the potential to address long-needed solutions, including advanced prosthetics and artificial organs. Also, the need to develop novel printable materials will stretch our understanding of chemistry and biology.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing (bio-printing/bio-fabrication)?
Jeff: I have very much enjoyed working with many inventors and entrepreneurs in this field. The caliber of people involved and the infancy of this technology suggest to me that we will look back in awe of their breakthroughs.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Jeff: I enjoy helping inventors leverage their creativity for maximum business impact. When problems emerge, some people go home. Those who push through and solve that problem often can patent their solution, leading to a well-deserved reward of exclusivity that benefits the inventor and society alike.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Jeff: The biggest obstacle for patenting is how to protect important inventions in this technology space when the law has developed in a way that make computer-based inventions and data difficult to protect.
Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?
Jeff: The biggest challenge will be developing printable materials that satisfy requirements for use in-vivo.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
Jeff: Continued physical health, mental health, and more time.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?
Jeff: Good advice: Favor action over indecisiveness, and correct course if need be. Learn to excel in a few areas that complement each other. Work to gain an understanding of psychology, especially your own.
Bad advice: Anyone telling you who you should become.
Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community (i.e. healthcare 3D printing and bio-fabrication), what message would that be?
Jeff: File your patent application before disclosing your invention.
Jenny: What were/was the best/worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Jeff: The best investment was the few days I spent thoroughly researching the industry when I had my first opportunity to work in 3d printing. It became clear to me that the technology was going to explode in the next decade.
Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?
Jeff: I’ve done several things that might have seemed like bold moves at the time. However, I was able to clearly see the risk of doing nothing was much riskier than taking action. One example was changing law firms three years ago. Another is recently moving to NYC. I have to laugh though because my entrepreneurial clients take much more risk than me, and are handsomely rewarded when things work out well.
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Jeff: I don’t have a lot of spare time. But I travel a lot for work and meet with friends mostly in Europe and the US on the weekends. I’m in Europe right now visiting Dublin, Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Helsinki, Munich, London, and Paris. I like taking my kids skiing or to the lake.
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?
Jeff: “I was always afraid of things that worked the first time.” –Thomas Edison.
I like how this quote flips the expectation. It finds danger in what we want to happen and reminds us that the best things in life come after hard work and persistence.
Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you? =)
It means that 3d printing will solve unmet medical needs. However, the sound of the name makes me have to sort out that we are not talking about anything to do with fashion or high-heels. In the end, it probably makes the name more sticky/catchy, which is a good thing.