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General FAQs

What is PatentsView?

PatentsView is a patent data visualization and analysis platform intended to increase the value, utility, and transparency of US patent data. The initiative is supported by the Office of the Chief Economist at the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

The PatentsView platform is built on a regularly updated database that longitudinally links inventors, organizations, locations, and patenting activity since 1976. The data visualization tool, query tool, and flexible API enable a broad spectrum of users to examine the dynamics of inventor patenting activity over time and space. These tools also permit users to explore technology categories, assignees, citation patterns, and co-inventor networks.

PatentsView is intended to encourage the study and enhanced understanding of the intellectual property (IP) and innovation systems; to serve as a fundamental function of the government in creating "public good" platforms in these data; and to eliminate wasteful and redundant cleaning, converting, and matching efforts necessary for individual researchers to use these data, thus freeing up researchers to do what they do best-study IP, innovation, and technological change.

What are patent classes and technologies?

Patent classes are based primarily on the technological and functional features of inventions and are continuously updated to reflect evolving technology. Patents are classified by four distinct schemes in the PatentsView database: 1) US patent classification (USPC), 2) cooperative patent classification (CPC), 3) the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) technology categories, 4) International patent classification (IPC), and 5) WIPO technology fields. All USPC, CPC, NBER, and WIPO patent classes appearing in the PatentsView database represent the current patent class, unless otherwise noted. All IPC patent classes in the PatentsView database represent the at-issue patent class.

How frequently are the data driving the PatentsView database updated?

The PatentsView database is updated with data from newly issued patents on roughly a quarterly basis. The PatentsView team is working toward executing updates every even month of the year by reducing delays previously caused by data processing issues and additions. Each update integrates the most recent CPC classification released by the USPTO and applied retrospectively to all US patents dating back to 1976. The USPC classification is no longer assigned to utility patents after May 2016. The NBER classification after 2006 is reproduced based on the current USPC classification until May 2016. The WIPO technology fields are based on the current CPC classification and the IPC to CPC concordance. The inventor, assignee, lawyer and location disambiguation algorithms are re-run on the entire database each time the data update process is complete.

How can the published applications data be accessed through PatentsView?

Published applications data is parsed from source files available from USPTO at https://bulkdata.uspto.gov. The PatentsView team intends to focus on this data in the near future to make it available to the user community via bulk data download and, potentially, through the API. At this moment the latest update dates back to July 15, 2016 and can be made available upon request in MySQL format.

What are the terms of use for PatentsView tools?

  • Currently no key is necessary to access the PatentsView API. However, we reserve the right to halt excessive usage of the API. Please contact us if you feel access has been unfairly restricted.
  • This work was created through a government contract funded by the Office of the Chief Economist at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Users are free to use, share, or adapt the material for any purpose, subject to the standards of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Attribution should be given to PatentsView (www.patentsview.org) for use, distribution, or derivative works.