Till recently you could “Google” patents and perhaps find some of what you were looking for but just as you would for just about any other information. Now with the announcement of Google and the USPTO having entered into an agreement to make the following USPTO products available on Google there is a vast amount of patent data which has just become more accessible. With the ability to simply go to Google and bulk download large sets of patent texts, assignments, images and other information the data has been thrown open for those who can leverage it.
Although bulk patent data sourced from subscription based databases will continue to offer valuable features, the availability of USPTO data on Google is a reaffirmation that we’re quickly moving towards an age where massive amounts of valuable data is readily available for analysis. The focus and challenges are gradually moving towards the efficient management of such quantities of data and extracting exactly intelligence from it.
The development will perhaps pave way for content-driven in-house search and analysis systems that provide a destination for bulk patent data and go further in extracting insights in different ways from it. Due to the nature, format and size of the data, its unlikely to be usable directly by end users and so IP search systems that can support the formats and organize the information may appear soon. As access to patent data through open information channels increases the need to handle the IP information being researched and be able to analyze and report it quickly and efficiently becomes a priority.
With the right tools and software to manage it efficiently, this data could be an invaluable information and research asset.