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U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
Patent Technology Monitoring Team (PTMT)
- this report has been prepared with support from the National Science Foundation -
Explanation of Data --
This table, prepared from the Technology Assessment and Forecast (TAF) database, identifies the classes of technology that received relatively greater and lesser emphasis in issuing utility patents (i.e., "patents for inventions") that were assigned to U.S. colleges and universities. Patent assignee (ownership) information is determined by the first-named assignee (owner) listed on the issuing patent.
This table includes activity indexes for patents granted in two calendar years, 1998 and 2008. Activity indexes for the five year blocks, 1994 to 1998, 1999 to 2003, and 2004 to 2008 are also included. Although patents can be classified into multiple classes of technology, only the class that was associated with each utility patent's PRIMARY classification as of 31 December 2008 is represented in the table (see the "Classes of Technology" discussion, below).
The displayed university "activity index" values indicate which classes of technology received greater and lesser patenting emphasis in utility patents assigned to U.S. colleges and universities. Classes are listed in order of decreasing "activity index" values for the year 2008. Under this arrangement, classes of technology that were emphasized more heavily in 2008 are listed higher in the table. If two or more classes have identical "activity index" values for 2008, the classes are listed in ascending class number order.
The "activity index" for a particular period and class is calculated by first determining the proportion of "total U.S. university patents" that are in that class and then dividing that amount by the proportion of "total U.S. university patents" that are in all classes (see the example, below). An "activity index" equal to 1.00 indicates that the proportion of U.S. university patents in that class of technology is the same as the proportion of U.S. university patents that are in all classes. For a time period, an "activity index" value greater than 1.00 for a class indicates that a relatively higher proportion of U.S. college and university patents are in that class, compared to the proportion of U.S. college and university patents that are in all classes.
Please note that full information necessary for calculating all displayed activity index values is presented in the table.
For utility patents that were granted in 2008, the "activity index" for Class 216, "Etching a Substrate: Processes", is calculated as follows:
Referring to the "activity index" table--
In 2008 and in class 216, there were 232 patents granted (see table column 15 for class 216) of which 7 were U.S. university patents (see table column 10 for class 216).
In 2008 and in all classes of technology, there were 157,772 patents granted (last row of table, column 15) of which 2,891 were U.S. university patents (last row of table, column 10).
The U.S. university patent share of total utility patents issuing in Class 216 in 2008 is:
( 7/ 232 ), or 3.017 percent.
The U.S. university share of total utility patents issuing in all utility patent classes in 2008 is:
( 2,891 / 157,772 ), or 1.832 percent.
The U.S. university "activity index" for Class 216, "Etching a Substrate: Processes", in 2008 is:
( ( 7/ 232 ) / ( 2,891 / 157,772 ) ) = (3.017 / 1.832) = 1.65
Note: Displayed patent counts refer to counts of "utility" patents.
The class breakouts available in this table are major divisions of technology in the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPCS). It should be noted that each class is further divided into smaller divisions of technology called subclasses. The USPCS currently contains approximately 470 total classes and 165,000 total subclasses. Technology classes available in these reports are classes of technology as defined by the U.S. Patent Classification System as it existed on 31 December 2008.
Copies of each patent are placed (classified) in those subclasses that have been identified as pertinent to the information disclosed in the patent. One, and only one, of these subclasses is designated as the PRIMARY classification, and the remainder (if any) are designated as CROSS-REFERENCE classifications. Counting patents by PRIMARY classification, as has been done for this table, will ensure that each patent is counted only once. However, if a patent teaches more than one concept, e.g., table and chair, only one concept, e.g., table, will be counted . Please note that a patent's PRIMARY classification is also referred to as its ORIGINAL classification in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office specific terminology.
For this table, some classes have been combined together under a single class identifier. In such cases, combined classes are noted in the accompanying class titles. In addition, selected class titles have been modified to clarify technological content. Patent classification is based on the PRIMARY classification of each patent as of 31 December 2008.
If the record for a patent is incomplete and contains no PRIMARY classification, then the patent is counted in class 001, titled CLASSIFICATION UNDETERMINED. For a more detailed description of the technologies encompassed by a U.S. Patent Classification System class of technology, the Manual of U.S. Patent Classification and the U.S. Patent Classification System Classification Definitions should be consulted.
Use of spreadsheet software may facilitate analysis of the data contained in the report table. Users should note that many spreadsheet software programs (e.g., Microsoft Excel) can import this table directly for use by the software. Check the spreadsheet software documentation for details.
Some web browsers can print the report by formatting it to fit the printed page (e.g., Microsoft Explorer, version 7). Due to the width of the report, printing in landscape mode is suggested. In addition, importing the report's web page into spreadsheet or word-processing software may allow a user additional flexibility for formatting the report table for printing. Check the corresponding software documentation for details.
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