In his capacity as patent whip, Paul directed the activities of outside consultants and specialists, and worked with several legal firms to generate and file the patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Paul was a firestorm of activity. He represented Cerent in the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), and was an active participant in the Architecture and Physical Layer OIF working groups.
- US Patent 5,339,338 Apparatus and Method for Data Desynchronization (Filed Oct 6, 1992)
- US Patent 5,367,476 Finite Impulse Response Digital Filter (Filed March 16, 1993)
- US Patent 5,497,405 Open Loop Desynchronizer (Filed July 1, 1993)
- US Patent 5,521,534 Numerically Controlled Oscillator for Generating a Digitally Represented Sine wave
Output Signal (Filed June 21, 1995)
- US Patent 5,751,724 Demultiplexer for a Multi-Bitline Bus (Filed February 23, 1996)
- US Patent 6,049,541 Distributed telecommunications switching system and method (Filed Dec 4, 1997)
- US Patent applied for BLSR Node Extension 
(Filed November 16, 1998 by Patrick Bisson, Paul Elliott, Kate Amon, Anurag Nigam, and Phu Le and patent 6,349,092 subsequently issued)
- US Patent applied for Flexible Cross-Connect With Data Plane
(Filed March 22, 1999 by Paul, Elliott, Ajaib Bhadare, and Dyke Shaffer and patent 6,587,470 subsequently issued and then patent re-issued as 7,151,741)
- US Patent applied for An Efficient Fractional Divider
(Filed March 31, 1999 by Paul Elliott and patent 6,127,863 subsequently issued)
- US Patent applied for Interchangeable Backplane Interface Connection Panels
(Filed December 22, 1999 by Dean Falkenberg, Ed Iwamiya, Paul Elliott, and Dyke Shaffer and patent 6,347,963 subsequently issued)
Then, while a key member of the Cisco optical team, Paul drove three additional patents:
- US Patent applied for Method and Apparatus for Routing Telecommunications Signals
(Filed March 22, 2000 by Paul Elliott and Phu Le and patent 6,865,181 subsequently issued)
- US Patent applied for Multiprotocol Packet Framing Technique
(Filed March 31, 2000 by Dan Kerns and Paul Elliott and patent 6,819,679 subsequently issued)
- US Patent applied for Method and Apparatus for Transporting Network Management Information in a Telecommunications Network
(Filed November 30, 2000 by Chip Roberson, Paul Elliott, and Phu Le and patent 7,573,915 subsequently issued and re-issued as patent 7,929,573)
The Early Patents and Cerent Engineering Pioneers
Paul looks back and wishes he could’ve done more, “I wish someone (me, I suppose) had filed a few patents for the [12-port] DS3 design. We could have easily been granted a handful of worthwhile patents on that board and its ASIC design.”
Sometimes there’s not enough time, not even for Mr. Patent.
A subsequent patent that defined, in part, the network flexibility of a number of connected ‘454’ systems was the US Patent applied for Multiple Ring Support Within a Single Network Element (filed August 15, 2000 by Philippe Daniel, Paul Elliott, Keith Neuendorff, Phu Le, Xiaopin Nie, and Brian Rushka). Patent number 6,992,975 was assigned and then the patent was re-issued as 7,623,445. Such technological flexibility  enabled mesh topologies to be supported including Cerent–Cisco’s Path Protected Mesh Network (PPMN) configuration.
Again, Paul collaborated with additional engineers across hardware, ASIC, and software disciplines, revealing his versatility and penchant for teamwork, a rare quality.
He may not have had time for filing all of the patents he would’ve liked to file, but he always had time for the people he worked with.
 According to Joe Hadzima, “Companies view a patent portfolio as essential, even if they don't plan a vigorous program of enforcement litigation. They believe that having a portfolio of patents allows them to settle infringement claims against them by ‘cross licensing’ patents with the other side.” During the end of the twentieth century, protecting intellectual property rights by obtaining patents “became a strategic necessity for businesses.” Paul and Ajaib recognized this for Cerent too.
 From The Upstart Startup (2014) we discover the impact of this and other Cerent patents on the telecom industry, “To define a BLSR topology, a wizard capability was developed so that an operator using the ‘454’ can make it reversion time consistent and reversion behavior consistent and then the walk around a ring could be made. David [Friedman] adds, “When you came into the node on one interface and only had one departing interface, we’d keep going around the ring until the circle was completed. We could automate an entire ring set-up. At BellSouth we had a shootout with Lucent. Our ring set-up took only six minutes for a BLSR configuration while Lucent was still working on setting up their BLSR several hours later. It wasn’t even a contest.”
 From The Upstart Startup (2014) we learn, “When optically connected, Cerent 454s in a network had to figure out what links and protection schemes were available for traffic to be transported. This capability is commonplace in today’s routers and switches, but self-discovery and automated setup was not present in any optical or SONET transport products in 1998. This technology innovation was accomplished by evolving a routing protocol (OSPF) and incorporating other Cerent patented algorithms. At the system level, Cerent 454 network elements could auto-configure and automatically route telephony and data traffic to where it needed to go. The combination of auto-routing of optical circuits with integrated layer 2 switching and routing of Ethernet traffic was unique in the optical industry.”
 Paul finished his telecom career as a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco, leaving the company in January 2001, after completing the four-year vesting period (that began with his January 1997 Fiberlane start date) in order to claim his Cisco stock.