To advance research on matters relevant to intellectual property, entrepreneurism, and innovation, the Office of Chief Economist (OCE) releases datasets to allow for study of the economics of patents and trademarks--an element in the USPTO economics research agenda. OCE presents these data for the first time in forms convenient for public use and academic research, consistent with the agency's responsibility to make patent and trademark information open and transparent. Furthermore, it supports White House policy championing transparency and access to government under the "data.gov" umbrella of initiatives. Since these data have not been commonly used in the research community, OCE has developed supplementary documentation providing a comprehensive description of datasets and offering initial findings.
The following datasets and accompanying documentation are available for download.
Trademark Case Files Dataset
The Trademark Case Files Dataset contains detailed information on 7.0 million trademark applications filed with or registrations issued by the USPTO between 1870 and January 2013. It is derived from the USPTO main database for administering trademarks and includes data on mark characteristics and designs, prosecution events, ownership, classification, renewal history, foreign priority, and international registration. The Trademark Case Files Dataset is updated annually.
Trademark Assignment Dataset
The USPTO allows parties to record assignments of trademark applications and registrations to maintain a complete history of claimed interests in a mark. The Trademark Assignment Dataset contains detailed information on 786,931 assignments and other transactions recorded at the USPTO between 1952 and 2013 and involving 1,491,485 million unique trademark properties. The Trademark Assignment Dataset is updated annually.
Patent Assignment Dataset
The USPTO allows parties to record assignments of patents and patent applications to, as much as possible, maintain a complete history of claimed interests in a patent. The USPTO also permits recording of other documents that affect title (such as certificates of name change and mergers of businesses) or are relevant to patent ownership (such as licensing agreements, security interests, mortgages, and liens). The Patent Assignment Dataset contains detailed information on roughly 6 million patent assignments and other transactions recorded at the USPTO since 1970 and involving over 10 million patents and patent applications. The Patent Assignment Dataset is updated annually.
Historical Patent Data Files
Patent classification systems are largely designed for administrative purposes, limiting their value for most research purposes. To address this deficiency, Hall, Jaffe, and Trajtenberg (2001) developed a higher-level classification for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Patent Citation Data File by aggregating U.S. Patent Classification (USPC) classes into economically relevant technology categories. While this NBER classification scheme has proven valuable for researchers investigating US patent grants, comparable information on patent applications remained unavailable. For that reason, OCE developed a probability-matching algorithm to apply NBER classifications to patent applications as well as in-force and expired patents. From matched data, we construct the USPTO Historical Patent Data Files, four research datasets containing time series and micro-level data by NBER sub-category on applications, grants, and in-force patents spanning two centuries of innovation.
The release of these data is consistent with the agency's responsibility under 35 USC 2 to make information about patents and trademarks available to the public. Providing research datasets to allow for study of the economics of patents and trademarks is also an element in the USPTO economics research agenda. Furthermore, it supports the Obama administration's policy championing transparency and access to government under the "data.gov" umbrella of initiatives.