Published official reports on a variety of domestic and international intellectual property (IP) issues including the role of IP in the economy, IP policy, IP litigation and United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) operations. 

IP Data Highlights no. 5: Inventing AI, text on a green background.

Inventing AI: Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents

October 2020
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A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) report, titled "Inventing AI: Tracing the diffusion of AI with U.S. patents," finds that AI is diffusing broadly across technologies, inventor-patentees, companies, and U.S. geography. Read the report.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is diffusing broadly across inventor-patentees and companies

Technology diffusion is the spread and adoption of a new technology by inventors, companies, and other innovators. Technologies that diffuse broadly have potentially large effects on innovation, productivity, and economic growth. For example, steam power, electricity, and information technology greatly enhanced the volume, as well as the variety, of goods produced within the economy.

The figure below shows that the percentage of U.S. organizations (green line) and inventors (dashed blue line) that patent in AI increased from under 5% in 1980, to just over 20% in 2018. This is remarkable growth and shows that AI is increasingly important to U.S. invention.

Graph of patent grant year (1976-2020) x-axis vs percent U.S. AI patents (0-25%); solid green line for U.S. owners-at-grant, blue dashed line for U.S. inventor-patentees. Start 1-2%, concave rise with dip 2015; owners higher until 2009 then inventors higher. Owners end 22.1%, inventors 24.9%.
The percentage of patent assignees and inventor-patentees with U.S. AI patents. 

The USPTO report develops an AI algorithm to find AI in U.S. patents. That is, a machine learning AI algorithm is used to determine the volume, nature, and evolution of AI and its component technologies as contained in U.S. patents from 1976 through 2018. This approach improves the accuracy of identifying AI patents by better capturing the diffusion of AI across technology, companies, inventor-patentees, and geography.

More graphs on the diffusion of AI are also available at the infographics page for the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).


IP Data Highlight no. 4: Progress and Potential report, text on a purple background.

Progress and Potential: 2020 update on U.S. women inventor-patentees

July 2020
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Progress and Potential webpage

A USPTO study updates the 2019 report and finds, among other things, that women make up an increasing share of all new entrants to the patent system, rising from about 5% of new inventor-patentees in 1980 to 17.3% by 2019. 


 IP Data Highlight no. 3: Adjusting to Alice report, text on a blue background.

Adjusting to Alice: USPTO patent examination outcomes after Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

April 2020
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The 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International significantly increased the percentage of Section 101 rejections in first office actions received by patent applicants and, importantly, increased the degree of uncertainty facing applicants in the examination process. 


mashup of patent art and Inventors Hall of Fame inductees

Report to Congress pursuant to P.L. 115-273, the SUCCESS Act

October 2019
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SUCCESS Act webpage

A USPTO report finds that inventors who apply for and receive a patent may experience a wide range of personal benefits, including heightened prestige, increased income, promotions, new job opportunities, and increased professional networks. 


IP Data Highlights no. 2: Progress and Potential, text on a purple background.

Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. Patents

February 2019
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Progress and Potential webpage 

The USPTO released a report on the trends and characteristics of U.S. women inventors named on U.S. patents granted from 1976 through 2016. The report shows that women still comprise a small minority of patent inventors. Further, it highlights the untapped potential of women to spur U.S. innovation.


 IP Data Highlights no. 1: International collaboration and ownership on patents issued to Chinese inventors, text on a yellow background.

International collaboration and ownership on patents issued to Chinese inventors

April 2018
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This report examines collaboration and ownership patterns on U.S. patents granted to Chinese inventors from 2000 through 2016. The analysis uses data on inventor residence and owner location from the Patent Examination Research Dataset (PatEx) and PatentsView, a web-based data resource supported by OCE. 


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