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The Data Briefing: Introducing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s New Open Data Portal

My first column when I came back from last year’s summer sabbatical was on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) PatentsView project. PatentsView became one of the Department of Commerce’s most viewed apps in 2015. Building on this success, USPTO released a beta version of its open data portal.

Screen capture of the homepage of the beta version of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's open data portal.

The USPTO open data portal is divided into four different sections. The first section leads to patent and trademark datasets. The second section demonstrates some of the amazing visualizations created using the patent and trademark datasets. In the third section, the USPTO is building a community around developers and other consumers of USPTO open data. I especially like the bulletin board-like user experience for developers to showcase their latest apps and visualizations.

The fourth section will be a library of APIs and is coming soon. If you click on the homepage icon, a PDF document [PDF, 666kb, 2 pages, April 2016] appears that displays the proposed layout of the API page: again, a good clean user experience design that will showcase the various APIs that USPTO has to offer. If the PatentsView API is any indication, the forthcoming USPTO APIs will provide great data with excellent documentation for both beginning and experienced developers.

Patent and trademark data offers interesting insights into U.S. business activity and, especially, the state of innovation in America. Flipping through the visualizations section, you can see the number of trademark applications submitted in any given period, state job data compared to patent filings, and the rise of green technology patent filings. It would be interesting to take patent and trademark datasets and combine that data with Census Bureau data and Bureau of Labor Statistics data to better understand how to increase and nurture innovation. As more agencies create or build out their open data portals, the benefit to the American people of combining open data can only grow greater.(Disclosure: I work at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The opinions contained in this posting are my own and do not reflect the views of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.) Each week, The Data Briefing showcases the latest federal data news and trends. Dr. William Brantley is the Training Administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Global Intellectual Property Academy. You can find out more about his personal work in open data, analytics, and related topics at BillBrantley.com. All opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the USPTO or GSA.

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