Unleashing Patent Data to the Public


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USPTO-XDATA Darpa Hackathon
DARPA held a hackathon on September 19-23, 2016, in Arlington, VA with a goal of using USPTO's patent data to predict areas of technical innovations. Participants included universities, laboratories and corporations.

Guest blog post by Thomas A. Beach, Senior Advisor & Portfolio Manager of Digital Services & Big Data at USPTO

Through its Open Data and Mobility program, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is revolutionizing how it delivers data, tells stories, promotes transparency, and empowers data-driven decision making. Yesterday, at the White House Open Data Innovation Summit, I showcased exciting ways the agency is building “data storytelling” through visualizations, like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Hackathon, the USPTO Cancer Moonshot Challenge, and the USPTO Developer Hub online community.  


With a mission to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security, DARPA held a hackathon on September 19- 23, 2016, in Arlington, VA with a goal of using patent data to predict areas of technical innovations. Participants included universities, laboratories and corporations, who tackled technical challenges focused on patent analytics using disparate data sets, then shared their results.  

They addressed questions such as: What factors are associated with a commercialized patent or a patent that will be litigated? Using predictive techniques, can we identify trends and patterns in patents that are likely to emerge in the future?  Using clustering techniques, can we use emerging technologies in big data to better understand the relationship between patents and incoming application?

Finally we challenged the participants to come up with new ways to track ownership of a patent through aggregation and disaggregation events, track production and commercialization of patents in use, and question whether we can we track unlicensed usage in international forums.

Cancer Moonshot Challenge

As a White House Moonshot Task Force partner, we launched the USPTO Cancer Moonshot Challenge last month, to enlist the public’s help to leverage patent data to reveal new insights into investments around cancer therapy research and treatments. Participants in the challenge used patent data, paired with external economic funding data from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to identify trends, build visualizations, and analyze factors such as cancer types, diagnosis methods, survival rates, clinical trials, and more. Read more about the challenge and its recently announced winners in a blog by Under Secretary Michelle K. Lee on Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Medium page.

USPTO Developer Hub

The USPTO Developer Hub, which we released earlier this year, features the first ever application program interfaces (API’s) and an API catalog for the agency, in order to increase the value and understanding of USPTO data through visualizations and stories. Anyone with modest programming experience can explore USPTO data and share interesting findings with the online community. The USPTO is continuously releasing new data sets and working to make data available on the USPTO’s 9 + million patents along with trademarks data. We are engaging with users in new and interactive ways, such as through our “how to” guide on GitHub, which leverages open source visualizations, as well as our Community Café, where anyone from a developer to a news junky can discuss innovation, patent data storytelling, or follow the Cancer Moonshot Task Force community.

Using open data, the USPTO is enlisting the public and private sector’s assistance in identifying trends in areas such as healthcare, technology, and innovation, and in turn working to drive the economy and impact public policy issues. Read more about USPTO’s open data efforts in Under Secretary Michelle K. Lees Huffington Post opinion editorial as well as our recent Commerce blog.  

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Last updated: 2016-09-29 17:06

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