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Why Explore Patent Data?

Welcome to the prototype PatentsView API, supported by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is the federal agency for granting US patents and registering trademarks. The US patenting system encourages innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide to publish their inventions for worldwide use and adoption.

The PatentsView API is intended to inspire the exploration and enhanced understanding of US intellectual property (IP) and innovation systems. The database driving the API is regularly updated and integrates the best available tools for inventor disambiguation and data quality control. We hope researchers and developers alike will explore the API to discover people and companies and to visualize trends and patterns across the US innovation landscape.

The API contains 7 unique endpoints that users can query to tell new stories such as:

  1. Which companies hold patents in 3D printing? Where are they located? In which technologies were these companies innovating before and after they received 3D printing patents?
  2. What technology has been most commonly patented in the US in the last 5 years? What are the top US cities producing those patents? What are the top non-US cities generating those patents?
  3. Who are the most prolific US inventors in the last 3 decades? How has their patenting activity (number of patents, types of patents, and co-inventors) changed over time?

The current version of the PatentsView API delivers data on patents granted through September 30, 2023.

A New API Design:

Usage Limits
Each application is allowed to make 45 requests/minute. If your application exceeds this limit, you will receive a “429 Too many Requests” response to your API query. See Swagger Documentation for details.

Implementing an API key
The improved version of the API requires that the user register their software application before querying the API. Once registered, you will be provided an API key. You will need this API key to query the API

  1. Request an API key using this form.
  2. You will receive your API key via email.

Using the API Key

  1. Each request to the API should include a X-Api-Key header.
  2. The value of the X-Api-Key header should be the API key.
  3. The API keys do not expire.

Note on workflow:
If users previously used a browser to run API queries, due to the API key enforcement users will not be able use the same workflow. Alternatively  either a standalone applications (such as Postman) or browser extension (such as RESTED in Firefox/Chrome) can be used to send one-off queries.


API Design Changes Continued

While the API query language remains unchanged in most cases, there are some differences:

Linked Fields: In case of data field that link two different entities ("foreign keys" in RDMBS vernacular), new API will carry the API lookup URL for the linked entity. For example, when querying the API for cpc_group A01B , the response will include a link for the cpc_subsection A01 :

Script calling API example

In addition to the regular q parameter, applications can now perform "ID lookups" for each entity by specifically querying single ID values. See Swagger Documentation for details.

Classification Endpoints (CPC, USPC and NBER) will return lookup data exclusively. That is, when looking up any of the above classifications, only id, title and, in some cases, aggregate statistics will be returned. Fields to fetch related patent, assignee, inventor, etc. will not be supported.

API Query Language Changes

  • page and per_page option parameters have been replaced by size and offset parameters. The default values are also changed.
  • Owing to de-normalized and split API design, sub-entity information is not available directly via each endpoint. As a consequence, "matched_subentity" option parameters are not valid.

See the API Query Language for full documentation.

Field List
Please refer to the 200 "Response" section for each endpoint for full list of fields available. All the available fields are "queryable."

Current API
The current API endpoint and field counterparts (citations and classification endpoints and fields) will continue to be available until such a time when the new API is considered stable. These are expected to be turned off early in 2022. Please note that for each data element available in the current API,

  • We plan to implement endpoints in new API iteratively.
  • There will always be a period of overlap when both the current and new API will carry each data element.

The PatentsView team is planning changes to the API, to be released with the next data update (Data up to Mar 30, 2021 planned to be release first week of June 2021). The major changes under this update are,

  1. US Application and US Patent Citation fields will move to their own individual endpoints.
  2. The fields available under the classification endpoints will be limited to classification lookups.
  3. Please see the API Update Table for a detailed list of changes.