Open Patent Data: A Report on the Roundtable with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

In 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) developed a roadmap for open data initiatives designed to provide better access to USPTO’s data assets and better engagement of their community of data users. This roadmap, an 18-month strategy that outlined data delivery, community engagement and private sector collaborations, was the main focus for an Open Data Roundtable held by the USPTO and The GovLab.

On December 8, 2014, representatives from companies, nonprofits, and academic institutions convened with USPTO staff and leadership for a dialogue facilitated by the GovLab on data issues and potential solutions. A summary of that meeting, prepared by a GovLab Team headed by Joel Gurin in a “Report of Findings from an Open Data Roundtable with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office,” has now been released. You can find the report here.

The USPTO is beginning to think of its data stakeholders as “customers” for their data. This concept will help the USPTO better identify patent data stakeholders, establish communities of interest and feedback loops, and increase the number and depth of the USPTO’s interactions with its data users.

Key recommendations include:

  • The provision of bulk access to public PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval) data. This is one of biggest access challenges faced by users of patent data. Attendees also expressed their wish for the USPTO to provide data on the legal status and enforceability of patent applications: whether an application is in progress/provisional, litigated, approved, reinstated or abandoned/expired.
  • A strategy to address errors – and prevent poor data quality – earlier in the patent application system.
  • The development of an outreach plan for all patent stakeholders to include: inventors, the public, data vendors, known USPTO data users and intermediaries, law firms and patent attorneys and patent examiners, and internal USPTO groups.

This report is being released as a public document with the hope that it will encourage further input, dialogue, and commitments. It encapsulates the suggestions from USPTO’s data users who participated in the Roundtable and outlines opportunities for the private sector and civil society organizations to contribute solutions as well.

We invite you to review the full report and offer your feedback and suggestions.

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