Rigetti Computing was founded in 2013 on a mission to build the world’s most powerful computer.
As part of their effort to build a quantum computer that outperforms classical computers, Rigetti Computing designs and manufactures superconducting quantum integrated circuits. The company has also developed a cloud platform called Forest, a full-stack programming environment that uses a quantum-classical hybrid computing model.
Due to the specialized nature of their work, Rigetti Computing needed to find a patent attorney who could easily understand the complex concepts behind quantum computing.
Their ongoing collaboration with Henry Patent Law Firm — whose team brings a distinctive combination of technical expertise and administrative efficiency to the table — provided a foundation of patent assets that has helped Rigetti Computing raise $69 million in venture capital funding thus far.
Rigetti Computing knew exactly what qualifications their ideal patent attorney would possess — but actually finding this person wouldn’t be as easy, according to John Macaulay, vice president of intellectual property.
The patent work requires an attorney “who understands what we’re talking about from a technical point of view, and also someone who knows what to do with that information,” Macaulay said.
Quantum computing is a technically challenging discipline, spanning diverse subjects from quantum physics to mathematics and computer architecture. So it’s a tricky area for even the most skilled of patent attorneys.
“Even if the attorney has a quantum background, if it doesn’t include quantum computing, then it’s still an uphill challenge to get the attorney up to speed,” Macaulay said.
Quantum computing is also an emerging field, so few patent attorneys had serious experience in the field.
“Michael has been instrumental in our ability to quickly grow our patent portfolio. His team is a pleasure to work with, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them if you’re looking for someone with the right technical knowledge!”John Macaulay
Rigetti Computing’s due diligence led them to Michael Henry, who holds a Ph.D. in nuclear science and engineering, and conducted his doctoral thesis research in the field of quantum computing.
Rigetti Computing initially engaged Henry when he was an associate at a BigLaw patent firm, Fish & Richardson.
Impressed by the quality of Henry’s counsel and work in drafting applications, the management team at Rigetti Computing happily followed Henry when he left Fish & Richardson to start his own firm.
“Michael can take a relatively slim disclosure and turn it into a full application quite readily because he knows the context,” Macaulay said. “Other people don’t have that.”
In Henry Patent Law Firm, Rigetti Computing has a partner who is both adept at navigating patent law and able to grasp quantum computing concepts.
“Our needs and Michael’s skill set are extremely well matched,” Macaulay said. “It’s a seriously value-added proposition.”
A value-added service customized to the client’s needs
Rigetti Computing has a sophisticated internal legal team, which includes Macaulay and others who have had many years’ experience working at major law firms. They understand how to evaluate and strategically engage outside counsel.
Rigetti Computing also wanted to develop a close working relationship with the team executing their patent strategy.
As a boutique, Henry Patent Law Firm had the flexibility to customize their services according to Rigetti Computing’s expectations. Their responsiveness and diligence made them an ideal collaborator.
“They’re very good at accommodating my needs so that I can do my job more efficiently,” Macaulay said.
With IP protections secured through Henry Patent Law Firm’s efforts, Rigetti Computing has raised $69 million and counting to fund their pioneering work toward building the world’s most powerful computers.
In 2017 alone, backed by a mature patent portfolio containing patent applications with meaningful scope, Rigetti Computing raised $24 million in Series A funding and $40 million in Series B funding.
“Michael has been instrumental in our ability to quickly grow our patent portfolio,” Macaulay said. “His team is a pleasure to work with, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them if you’re looking for someone with the right technical knowledge!”
About Rigetti Computing
Rigetti Computing is a full-stack quantum computing company. Rigetti designs and manufactures superconducting quantum integrated circuits. They package and deploy those chips in a low temperature environment, and build control systems to perform quantum logic operations on them. They build software to integrate their systems directly into existing cloud infrastructure.
Rigetti believes the first useful quantum computers are within reach, and that quantum computing has the potential to one day have an enormous positive impact on humanity. To help realize that vision, Rigetti also develops new algorithms for quantum computing, with a focus on near-term applications in computational chemistry and machine learning.
Rigetti’s product, Forest, is the world’s first full-stack programming and execution environment for quantum-classical computing. Forest includes Quil (quantum instruction language), their programming standard for quantum-classical computing
For more information, please visit https://www.rigetti.com/.