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The Latest from Way Better Patents™

The Geography of Patents

Where Your Tax Dollars Are Going
Change Purse
Happening Here — Taxpayer Funded Patents By US County.

Inventors US County

The top 20 US counties receiving taxpayer funded inventions.

County Count %
Middlesex County, MA5914.75%
Los Angeles County, CA4753.82%
Santa Clara County, CA3833.08%
Alameda County, CA3142.52%
San Diego County, CA3062.46%
Montgomery County, MD3002.41%
Westchester County, NY2351.89%
Bernalillo County, NM2191.76%
King County, WA2121.7%
Cook County, IL2111.7%
Dane County, WI2001.61%
New York County, NY1901.53%
Durham County, NC1841.48%
Washtenaw County, MI1791.44%
Orange County, CA1531.23%
Baltimore County, MD1471.18%
Knox County, TN1471.18%
Fort Bend County, TX1391.12%
Contra Costa County, CA1351.08%
Olmsted County, MN1351.08%

Taxpayer Funded Patents So Far This Year →

Jul 26 2014

CPC — 100% By Fall?

A Little Patent Geekery
Fitting the curve to project the future. When the CPC will hit 100% on new granted patents.
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets — October 21?

When will all new US patents have CPC classification data? Diving into the weekly CPC data we noted an inflection point in the rate of weekly increase at the March 25, 2014 grant date. Using the weekly percentages starting with that date, we fit an exponential curve to the data. It explains greater than 97% of the variability in the weekly CPC percentages from March 25 through July 22, suggesting that it might provide a reasonable estimate of growth in the number of patents with CPC data. So we decided to make our projection.

The blue diamonds are the actual data through this week; the mauve points are the projections. The model predicts that USPTO might reach full implementation of applying the new system to utility patents at the October 21 issue date. This assumes that the future rate of growth each week is equivalent to that used in the modeled period. We plan to update this projection each week. Stay tuned.

CPC Monitor →

Jul 24 2014

Taxpayer Funded Patents So Far

US Map
Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.
Thomas Jefferson

Government funded research comes from corporations, universities, research institutes, small businesses, and federal contractors through different types of contracts including procurement contracts, research grant agreements, and cooperative agreements for performance of experimental, developmental or research work. The University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980 (Bayh-Dole) allows recipients of federal research grants to patent their inventions and to retain the title to those inventions. So far this year there have been 9,898 patents that have either government interest statements or have US government listed as the titleholder (assignee).

See The 2014 Box Score →

Jul 19 2014

A Way Better Count

US Map
There is more going on than you think.

It's time to use more 21st century metrics for looking at the impact of inventors from different states. The nature of invention has changed. It's no longer the case that all of the inventors toil away in the same skunkworks. The internet and digital science tools have made collaboration across local, state, and national boundaries a critical element in discovery and invention. The Way Better Count looks at all of the inventors in each location not just the first named inventor. Here is how it works.

The USPTO Official Count of patents assigns patents to a state based on the residence of the first named inventor on the patent. If a US patent has inventors from more than one state, only the state of residence of the first named inventor on the patent is credited with a patent. The Way Better Patent Count looks at all inventors on a patent and credits a state with a patent if any of the inventors come from that state. The Way Better Count provides insight into how many patents a particular US State's inventors participated in.

View the Side by Side Comparison →

Jul 17 2014

A Tipping Point?

CPC Data on New Patent Grants
CPC chart
CPC vs. USPC Searches by Technology Center

This is an interesting week at USPTO. Way Better Patents has been monitoring the flow of Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) data. We want to see what resources are evolving to enable a smooth transition to using the CPC by patent practitioners (people not working at USPTO) as USPTO's examiners switch to the new classification system. We are fans of the venerable USPC, maybe because we love its claim focused approach to classifying patents rather than the more broad tell us what it is in light of the claims approach used by the CPC. Today's box scores raise an important question, has USPTO has reached a tipping point on its migration to the CPC?

Read More →

Jul 8 2014

A Closer Look At CPC Progress

CPC Data on New Patent Grants
CPC chart
Progress by Technology Center

Here is a domain-specific view of progress on the conversion to the new Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system — the number of patents granted this week vs. patents with CPC by Technology Center.

Tech Center Breakdown
1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
1700 Chemical and Materials Engineering
2100 Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security
2400 Computer Networks, Multiplex communication, Video Distribution, and Security
2600 Communications
2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
3600 Transportation,Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture
3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, Products
Jul 4 2014

20% and Six Months To Go

CPC Data on New Patent Grants
CPC chart
Slow Growth in CPC — and the backlog.

As of January 1, 2015 the USPTO plans to shift to classifying patents according to the new Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system developed jointly by the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO). This is a major change for people who rely on classification as a guideline for finding appropriate prior art and for understanding the nature of invention in certain domains. As we learned in the February 24th blog post from USPTO Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino, USPTO was in the process of training examiners on how to use the CPC and as a result expected the backlog of unexamined patents to grow while this takes place.

We expect the backlog to rise as high as 650,000 by May 2014 before resuming its decline again falling below 600,000 by the end of this fiscal year, which ends September 30th.
Peggy Focarino blog post

The good new is that the backlog isn't growing as fast as expected. The numbers at the end of May showed growth of 19,859. At the same time we aren't seeing growth in the number of newly granted patents that contain CPC data. The table shows the rate of growth in newly granted patent that contain CPC data. We'll publish the chart every week as we march toward the 2015 CPC adoption date.

Jun 30 2014

Taxpayer ROI

Bayh-Dole Watch
The Human Element
Amazing new drug delivery methods. Stick free medicine!!

Under the Bayh-Dole Act, organizations that make discoveries and patent inventions as a result of work done on a federal contract or grant can retain the title to that patent. The goal was to accelerate commercialization of taxpayer research and development spending, the taxpayers return on investment. Each week Way Better Patents™ publishes the boxscores on patents with government interest statements. One of the patents we liked this week is US 8,708,966. Georgia Tech Research Corporation received US Patent 8,708,966 for Microneedles, devices for the transport of therapeutic or biological molecules across tissue barriers, such as for drug delivery. The microneedle devices permit drug delivery or removal of body fluids at clinically relevant rates across skin or other tissue barriers, with minimal or no damage, pain, or irritation to the tissue. Funding was provided by both NSF and DARPA.

This Week's Summary →

May 1 2014
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