CEP: November 2012 The November cover story, "Are We Covered? Understand the Strengths and Weeknesses of a Patenting Policy," describes how a detailed laboratory notebook is one of the most valuable assets at an engineer’s disposal when negotiating the pathway to a patent. Other topics include best practices for heat tracing plot plants, cutting agitator power costs and optimizing distillation by designing "green" columns. Also, read about the latest developments in materials, biotechnology, energy and nanotechnology. Editorial On the first day of our visit to Walt Disney World, my then-seven-year-old son got lost in the Magic Kingdom. Luckily, he was somewhere on Tom Sawyer Island, so our search area was limited. On the second day, he wandered off in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids attraction (also an enclosed space, thankfully).Those experiences gave me an idea for what I called Kid LoJack — a biocompatible microchip that parents could inject under a baby’s skin, and later activate to locate the child if he or she got lost or kidnapped (or stayed out past curfew). I’ve often wondered — civil liberties issues aside — whether I could have patented such a device. Read More Share Best Practices for Heat Tracing Pilot Plants November2012Heat TransferRichard P. Palluzi, P.E.Heat tracing a pilot plant is a difficult task, but with proper design and careful installation, the tracing system can operate safely and effectively. Be Smart about Column Design November2012Reactions and SeparationsMark Pilling, P.E., Daniel R. Summers, P.E.Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation. Cut Agitator Power Costs November2012Back To BasicsGregory T. Benz, P.E.Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch. Are We Covered? Understand the Strengths and Weaknesses of a Patenting Policy November2012Career CatalystM. Henry HeinesLaboratory notebooks and provisional patent applications can be valuable components of an engineer’s patenting strategy if they are well-prepared, appropriately managed, and diligently followed up with a nonprovisional patent application. Copyright Permissions: Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine or purchase an article reprint? Learn more about Reprints and Permissions.