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Last seen: 04/17/2023 - 17:06
Joined: 06/02/2022 - 10:31
Type of applicant in the pre-grant data


I wanted to ask about the pre-grant data - if I wanted to get the names of all applicants in the pre-grant data, should I use the "pg_applicant_not_disambiguated" table, as opposed to "pg_inventor" tables? If I understand correctly, "pg_inventor" table is only for those applications which eventually became granted patents and the applicants got the status of "inventor"?

Related to this question, the "applicant_type" variable has two values: "applicant", "applicant-inventor". Does it mean that "applicant_inventor" are those individuals who eventually had at least one granted patent and got the status of "inventor" and can be found in the granted patent data, and "applicant" are individuals who never got any granted patent and cannot be found as inventors in the granted patent data?

Thank you very much in advance

Role: moderator
Last seen: 01/29/2024 - 13:14
Joined: 10/17/2017 - 10:47


I'll answer your second question first, as it pertains to the answer to your first question.

The difference between applicants marked as "applicant" vs "applicant-inventor" in the "applicant_type" column is actually the applicant's legal connection to the patent and its rights rather than the eventual success of their patent application(s).

The passage of the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) and its implementation over the year or so following its passage changed the way that the USPTO defined and recorded individuals and organizations with interest in the rights of a patent. Prior to this, inventors were the only permitted applicants, and all applicants were marked as "applicant-inventor". Rare exceptions were made for the legal representatives of deceased inventors, which were the original instances of the "applicant" category. The "applicant" category became more regularly used during the implementation of the AIA to accommodate a broader definition of applicants. In addition to inventors, the applicant category now explicitly includes the aforementioned legal representatives, as well as individual and organization assignees of patents.

Full details on what kinds of individuals and entities are eligible to be listed as an applicant can be found on the USPTO website here:

Beginning in 2013, the "inventor" section of a patent application, rather than the "applicant" section became the primary record for information specifically on inventors. Although "inventor-applicant" records do continue to appear in the applicant section in much smaller number, the most common practice since 2013 has been for inventors to appear in the inventors section of the application and not the applicant section. When both sections are used, individuals listed as an "inventor-applicant" also appear in the inventors section. The PatentsView data tables mirror these sections of the application, such that an inventor that appears in the "inventors" section and not the "applicants" section of a post-2013 application will likewise appear in the inventors table and not the applicants table; however, any applicants that are not also inventors, will not appear in the inventors table.

Similarly, assignees are required to be listed in the assignees section, and inclusion in the applicants section is optional.

To return to your first question, the most complete picture of individuals and organizations with interest in an application will contain information from pg_applicant_not_disambiguated, and either the disambiguated or non-disambiguated versions of pg_inventor and pg_assignee. pg_gov_interest_org may also be of interest where government funding of an invention entitles the government to certain rights concerning the application.