Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced newly-released data giving the public new insights regarding the ins and outs of the patent process, while also providing the USPTO with more meaningful metrics so it can continue to efficiently issue high-quality patents.
“It’s been nearly impossible to unlock this valuable data effectively in the past, but by leveraging emerging technologies such as big data and machine learning, we are able to better serve our customers”, said the USPTO Chief Data Strategist Thomas A. Beach.
The USPTO receives and reviews thousands of patent applications each year. Included in these applications are mountains of scientific knowledge. Today’s release of the USPTO Patent Prosecution Research Data: Unlocking Office Action & Citation Traits marks the first time that comprehensive data on over 4.4 million office actions from the last several years has been made readily available to the public. An “office action” is a notification from a patent examiner to an applicant on whether their invention is patentable, and why or why not. It includes information such as the grounds for approval or rejection as well as the pertinent prior art, or in other words, the relevant past inventions that have come before it as shown in the visualization of the patent examination process (shown above).
By improving access to patent data, the public and private sectors can be empowered to identify trends in technology and innovation and open data can be freely and easily accessed, shared and analyzed. Analyzing and connecting government datasets can result in useful insights for entrepreneurs and innovators, from assessing risks to increasing sales.