Curious as to how many patents are granted in a certain region of the United States? Want to know how many patents a particular company has? Looking to find out who the most active inventors in your field of work are? All it takes is one click to find the answers.
Thanks to a collaborative effort started in 2012 between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Center for the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (CSSIP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the University of California at Berkeley, Twin Arch Technologies, Periscopic, and AIR, a search for any patent-related information has become interactive through a patent data visualization and analysis platform.
Called PatentsView, the tool, built on a newly developed database, allows you to interact with patent activity data in the United States from 1976 to present. You can use the tool’s search filters and multiple view options to look at the individual, regional and technological patent trends.
As the above screenshot from the Department of Commerce’s blog shows, you can search by patent title or number, inventor, assignee, patent class, location, or date granted and view the results as a list or map, including graphic illustrations and charts. These visual presentations allow searchers to see a web of interconnected information.
To demonstrate just how valuable PatentsView can be, here’s a before and after for a searcher looking to determine if Boston, Massachusetts, or San Diego, California, is the leading city for biotechnology patents.
Before: The individual spends many hours researching multiple resources and sifting through countless patent searches to see if the information even exists. What information does exist has to be patched together to get a composite view.
After: The individual enters the information being sought in PatentsView and clicks view as a map to get the information immediately.
The foundational information provided by the patent search tool also acts as a resource in making strategic business decisions related to research and development.
PatentsView features a:
- Visualization tool to study and analyze intellectual property trends;
- Query tool for searching patent activity;
- Flexible application programming interface (API) for quick access to a wealth of patent-related information;
- Database linking of inventors, their organizations, locations, and patenting activities. Prior to this platform, individuals had to scroll through, convert and match this data.
Expect more patent search tools from the collaboration as the USPTO continues its open data initiative under President Obama’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government to enhance the accessibility, usability, and transparency of its U.S. patent and trademark data.
As Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee pointed out when announcing PatentsView, “As America’s Innovation Agency, the USPTO is the public steward of a tremendous treasure trove of data of great value to present and future innovators, business leaders and policy makers. We are always working to improve the discoverability, accessibility, and usability of the USPTO’s valuable patent and trademark information.”
In conjunction with the launch of PatentsView, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service is conducting a pilot study on the use of PatentsView data to automatically describe the patenting activity of USDA-supported researchers.
The USDA has linked its administrative data from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Agricultural Research Service so it can be accessed on PatentsView.
PatentsView is currently in beta, with the USPTO encouraging public input as development moves forward.