Management Consulting

In 1988, the Canadian Patent Office was still in the planning stages of automating its operations. I was one of the four authors of the CPO's Automation Master Plan, submitted in March 1988, which was presented to form "the basis for a decision of the Government of Canada to commit resources to continuing a broad program of upgrading the strength of the Patent Office through automation, and presents a plan to achieve the objectives considered as essential with minimum technical and financial risk during an eight-year project period". In this study, we established the scope, duration, magnitude, and overall cost of the automation project, identified particular technological challenges (such as optical character recognition, the ability to manage terabyte-scale data holdings using late 1980s era technology, issues of availability and network congestion, and data security. The team of which I was a member also advised foreign patent offices in subsequent years: I personally visited the patent offices in Mexico City, Beijing, Taipei and Budapest, as well as the WIPO in Geneva.