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  • Learn More About Inventor Demographic Attribution: Symposium Recordings Now Online

    At the end of August, PatentsView and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) convened a group of 10 researchers, developers, and analysts to discuss the best and newest practices in identifying inventor demographics, including the use of gender and race. The event was structured as an all-day symposium with seven individual presentations and a three-person panel conversation on the social and economic implications of advancing our understanding of inventor demographics.

    Recordings from each session of the symposium are now available online.

    View the recordings now.

    Why Study Inventor Demographics?

    Quite simply, greater diversity and participation among inventors fuels more innovation and improves economic welfare. However, the current data suggest many people, particularly from diverse communities, are not represented among inventors. This means that challenges exist at various points along the pathway from inspiration, to inventor, to innovator and entrepreneur. Learning about who is and is not  participating as inventors and why is a critical step toward ensuring that all people can contribute equally to the innovation landscape and improve economic outcomes at both a personal and societal level.

    Unfortunately, the research into identifying and addressing such gaps is still in its infancy. One of the largest barriers is the lack of information about the demographics of inventors who apply for and ultimately receive patents.

    Disambiguation Methods and Practices

    Researchers have been using several methods and practices to shed light on inventor demographics when that information is not self-reported — the main processes are disambiguation and attribution.

    Each of these different processes has its own strengths and weaknesses. Speakers at the Advancing Research on Inventor Demographics Symposium, held on August 26, 2022, discussed the societal consequences of inequities in innovation. They also provided an in-depth discussion of the methods used to identify an inventor’s gender, race, ethnicity, and country of origin when that information is not reported in publicly available datasets.

    Leading Experts Discuss Cutting-Edge Research

    The symposium brought together economists, computer scientists, and others to discuss research methods, applied examples, and new ideas. The experts included:

    • Julio Raffo, a researcher in the Economics and Statistics Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization, who discussed gender attribution and the World Gender Name Dictionary 2.0.
    • Ernest Miguelez, a research fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), who discussed the PatentsView approach to inventor gender.
    • Michelle Saksena, a senior research economist at USPTO, who discussed assessing approaches for identifying the gender of inventors on patents.
    • Fangzhou Xie, a Ph.D. student at the Department of Economics at Rutgers University, who discussed using an R package he developed, called rethnicity, to predict ethnicity from names.
    • Francesco Lissoni, a professor of economics at the Bordeaux School of Economics within the University of Bordeaux, who discussed ways to determine inventors’ foreign-origin status using name analysis.
    • Jay Budzick, the CTO of Zest AI, who discussed using the Zest Race Predictor to uncover hidden disparities.
    • Marc Elliot, Distinguished Chair in Statistics and senior principal researcher at the RAND Corporation, who discussed methods to estimate race and ethnicity, and associated disparities, when records do not include self-reported data.
    • Trevon Logan, a Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio State University; Adam Gailey, a principal in the Financial Economics Practice of Charles River Associates; and Jason Dietrich, section chief for compliance and analytics policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who participated in a panel discussion about gaps in innovation by race/ethnicity and gender.
  • What's New with PatentsView - September 2022

    AI & Innovation and Resource Pages Now Available

    As we start a new academic year, PatentsView is working to help researchers better understand the relationships across various patents and innovative technologies. To that end, we’ve launched two new pages: a topic page on Artificial Intelligence & Innovation, and a new Resources page.

    The Artificial Intelligence & Innovation Patent Dataset

    While artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced by leaps and bounds, researchers are still working to understand the many ways AI inventions and innovations have impacted technology and society. To help researchers delve into how this emerging technology is affecting our lives, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released the AI Patent Dataset (AIPD).

    The dataset includes an analysis of 13.2 million patent documents published through 2020, identifying which patents contain AI. The AIPD integrates seamlessly into PatentsView, allowing researchers to explore relationships between patents related to AI and the companies and inventors who hold them.

    What’s on the new AI & Innovation page?

    The new page contains an interactive data visualization that allows users to explore how patents are related to government interest, a deep dive into the machine learning model used to create the AIPD, and the latest AI-related news and reports.

    Visit the new AI & Innovation Page now to find out more.

    What’s on the new Resources page?

    The new PatentsView Resources page provides patent researchers, inventors, and intellectual property afficionados an easy way to find code snippets and packages to better use the PatentsView API, sources to help researchers use BigQuery to explore historical patent and PatentsView data, Zenodo links between patents and scientific articles, and more.

    You can also find information about the I3 Collaborative and IPRoduct repositories. I3 and IPRoduct are working groups for users to contribute to data frames and named data projects as well as export collaboratively made datasets. IPRoduct focuses on connecting patents to products in support of intellectual property rights, and I3 is a project to connect citations and patents among patenting groups worldwide.

    Get connected on the new Resources page.

  • You’re invited to a Symposium about inventors who patent! August 26, 2022

    Policymakers recognize that expanding the participation of women and other underrepresented groups in patenting is critical for growing and sustaining American innovation and prosperity. The challenge is that demographic characteristics of inventors such as sex at birth, gender, ethnicity, and race are not collected as part of the process of applying for or receiving a patent. Join us to learn more about how this challenge is addressed through alternative approaches, the accuracy of various approaches, and the important uses of these statistics.

    At PatentsView, with our partners at the University of Bordeaux, we have identified the gender of inventors named on U.S. patents from 1976 to 2021. By using the information supplied by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from their World Gender-Name Dictionary along with other documentation, the team was able  to infer the gender for over 92.6% of the 2 million inventors residing in the United States and 92.3% of the nearly 5 million inventors named on U.S. patents residing around the world. You can download bulk data, as well as yearly data files, with gender information according to the latest algorithms for gender attribution on our website. The desire to map who is creating the latest technology is rapidly increasing. To be certain, this exploration is a global endeavor. 

    You are invited to a day-long symposium on Friday, August 26th, to learn about the latest developments for identifying and analyzing the demographics of inventors who patent. The symposium will feature experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, ZestAI, RAND Corporation, Rutgers University, University of Bordeaux, and WIPO. To tie everything together, a capstone panel with practitioners and leaders from the financial industry and academic institutions will share their perspectives on the research, next steps, and the overall policy relevance of knowing who drives innovation through patenting.  

    To read more about each presenter and their work, and to register for this symposium, please visit the PatentsView event page at See you there!

  • What's New with PatentsView - July 2022

    A few months ago, our team announced a break in the quarterly data update cycle. This interruption  allowed us to standardize, consolidate, clean, and amplify our current resources across the bulk data download and API products.  

    The bulk data downloads are currently comprised of more than 100 individual files. These files include disambiguated inventors, assignees, and locations, patent classification lookup tables, government interest information, long-text data and claims, and pre-granted patent application publications. The PatentsView team’s standardization and consolidation efforts aim to decrease barriers to merging these files. Part of this process targets data fields and table structures across the granted patent and pre-granted publications datasets. The standardization will also include updating PatentsView’s naming conventions for USPC and CPC fields to map closer to United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) naming conventions.  

    Data update processes resume this month with an anticipated release this September. The September update will include data released by USPTO in between January and June 2022.  

    Since one goal of the API redesign is to mirror the data available in the bulk data downloads, our team is continuing to increase the number of endpoints and data fields accessible through the beta Elastic Search API. With the September data update, we plan to release all remaining granted patent data currently not available in the MySQL API but available in the downloaded data (i.e. gender, botanic, long-text description fields, applicants, etc.). We will release pre-grant patent publications’ data and endpoints by the end of the year. 

    As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback and communication with our team. Our email inbox and feedback form are open; we strive to respond to messages within two business days. To ask questions or start a conversation within the PatentsView user community, please see the Forum available on our website. 

    P.S. Here’s a quick note: Our Query Builder tool was supposed to remain available during this time of data product harmonization, but because of new Google email regulations on APIs, we are currently unable to return your datasets via email. We are seeking a solution to this issue and will keep you posted. In the interim, if you require a dataset from the Query Builder, please reach out to our team for guidance.  

  • What’s New with PatentsView – May 2022

    Updates on our tools, website, and upcoming events

    It’s springtime in the United States, the season for growth and change. Our work at PatentsView continues to move ahead; with our growing user base and data team, we are trying new things and exercising our creativity. This can be seen on our Gender & Innovation topic page which now features an interactive data visualization made by some of our team members using PatentsView data. Also new to the topic page are annualized data files made in partnership with USPTO data scientists. These annual files are yearly and contain disambiguated information on patents, their assignees, inventors, and inventor gender. Smaller, more malleable data packages are a new thing for us – so let us know what you think!


    The Query Builder, ElasticSearch API, and original MySQL API are up to date with 2021 quarter 4 data from USPTO (data through December 30, 2021) as of March 28, 2022. The PatentsView team has been working to create additional endpoints in the ElasticSearch API (version 0.1) which will eventually replace the MySQL interface for PatentsView data. To date, over 100 beta users are engaging with the E.S. API. Our team is appreciative of the feedback we have received so far and look forward to additional improvements and additions as the year progresses.  

    Data Updates

    The bulk data download tables are still the biggest and most exhaustive collection of raw and processed data that our team has to offer. We monitor for updates to disambiguation methods and algorithms so that we can continue to improve the disambiguation of location, inventor, assignee, and lawyer information. It also helps us to improve when users of PatentsView data share errors they find in disambiguated results with our team – so, thank you, it really does make PatentsView stronger.

    Our next data update will publish in September 2022 and include quarters 1 and 2 of data for 2022. The PatentsView data science team is taking a break from data update activities through the months April to July to devote all resources toward making planned structural changes to the bulk data download and API products we offer. The next communication from our team will outline these structural changes and how this may affect bulk data download and API users.

    During this four-month period, the data available from the API(s) and Query Builder functions will also remain up to date through December 30, 2021. All PatentsView features will be updated in September with data through June 30, 2022.

    Upcoming Events

    PatentsView, with support from AIR, is hosting the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Gender and Race Attribution Symposium in August 2022. The symposium is a full-day virtual event aimed to bring together computer scientists, information scientists, economists, and others to discuss the state-of-the-art approaches to and current applications of name-to-gender and name-to-race attribution algorithms. The symposium will review methods and applications to provide an overview of current approaches from leading scholars in the field, and to build knowledge, identify a community of practitioners, and facilitate the application of common approaches. Stay tuned for the save the date announcement from our team!

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