Anyone who has ever searched the uspto.gov website has surely thought that the private sector could offer a better system. Google agreed, and nearly a year ago struck a deal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make all of the data on patents and trademarks available not only to their own search engine, but in bulk format to other companies so that they could take the data and work with it.
We’ve been impressed with the work of Robb Shector on OregonLaws.org and WebLaws.org. Now, he’s made excellent use of the trademark data to create Quisitive, an iPhone app for searching trademarks in a new and very innovative way.
In light of Justia’s commitment to “free law”, we wanted to make sure to note last week’s announcement that Google, in partnership with the USPTO, now provides bulk access to current US patent applications and grants. As noted by Richard Jefferson in his “Science as Social Enterprise” blog, until recently the bulk data available to users was incomplete in that it did not contain 2010 materials. However, users can now download comprehensive 2010 “Redbook” format data for free, considered the “gold standard” of patent data (and previously sold for thousands of dollars). Check what’s available in USPTO bulk downloads on Google yourself or search the entire image database of U.S. patents from 1790s to the present at Google patents.