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INTERFACES1056MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 32 • DECEMBER 2007 • www.mrs.org/bulletinIn 2004, 15 years after I first startedstudying metallurgy and materials sci-ence, I entered my first steel mill. I hadbeen visiting Sweden to work with a clientin the patent department at Sandvik AB,which is a large multinational industrialconglomerate headquartered in Swedenthat, among other things, manufacturesspecialty steels and cutting tool inserts.As a patent attorney, I refer to materialsresearch every day in my job.* I collabo-rate weekly, if not daily, with re searchers,product managers, and attorneys at com-panies with respect to the protection andenforcement of their intellectual propertythat are as varied as the research andproducts of the company. As a result, thetechnical variation on a project-by-projectbasis is large, requiring continuous effortsto understand the materials science ofthese inventions. In this article, I examinea few of the ways in which materialsresearch plays a role in the dai...