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The Latest from Way Better Patents™

Global Patent Snapshot

It's a small world after all.

This week patents with first–named inventors identified by countries outside of the US accounted for 3,877 patents or 51.7% of this week's patents.

Asian inventors receiving patents contributed 2,343 patents or 60.4%, of patents awarded to foreign grantees and 31.3% of the total granted this week. European inventors were granted 1,173 patents this week or 30.3% of all foreign patents granted and 15.7% of all patents this week. North American patents accounted for 3,800 of the total patents granted this week. The count includes the 3,618 patents granted to US first–named inventors; and inventions awarded to Canada (176) and Mexico (6). North American inventors received 50.7% of all patents granted this week.

(Way Better Patents™ organizes its Global Indicators based on the region designations assigned by the US CIA World Fact Book.)

The Scorecards →  

Feb 24 2015

Digtal Cartography of Innovation

From the Map Room
US map showing patent concentrations.
If you want to map innovation, map inventors.

Way Better Patents' Coming Soon™ Map Room contains a wealth of geographic information on the spatial distribution and topology of US patented inventions. Each week Way Better Patents publishes US and State heat maps and collaboration maps including:

  1. Weekly Inventor and Assignee Heat Maps
  2. Yearly Inventor and Assignee Maps
  3. Weekly Inventor and Assignee Collaboration Maps

Business may be global, but innovation is local. See where invention is happening.

Make sure to scroll down to see the State weekly and year to date maps.

Visit the Map Room →   About the Maps →

Feb 18 2015

The Health Complex

Public Science
Up next in the Health Complex patentsphere — synthetic biology, precision medicine, and biobricks.

One way to measure the return on investment for taxpayer funded R&D is to look at patents. There is considerable debate on how taxpayer funding and policies on drug development, pricing, and access interplay. Since pharma and biotech don't make a move without a patent, keeping an eye on how many patents are publicly funded in one way or the other is an important element to add to the discourse. Today we thought we'd show you the number of patents with taxpayer funding in the Health Complex. It's an impressive number.

The 2014 Count →

Feb 9 2015

Scientific Presence Profiles

A Holistic Look at Invention
US Map
Patents, Top IP companies, Demographics, R&D spending, FFRDCs, Federal Labs, University R&D spending and research focus and more.

Scientific presence takes a holistic look at science and technology activity — an amalgam of demographic information about the population of scientists, engineers, and technologists in a geographic area, the amount of R&D money flowing into an area, who is providing it and what type of science is being funded all assembled into one comprehensive profile.

Explore →


3 Weeks & 1,347 Corrections

Patents Are Property Too
The Scream
My head is exploding. How many times can I say this is statutory.

As of today, three weeks into the new year, USPTO has made 1,347 corrections this year. Last year USPTO racked up 24,843 corrections. In 2013 it was 23,654. That means that in the last two years USPTO had to make administrative changes to 48,497 patents. USPTO is about 160 corrections away from hitting 50,000 corrections since January 2013. It's time to support USPTO so they have the tools to improve the quality of their data.

Would the local Register of Deeds put up with this volume of corrections? Patents are property deeds too.

Read More →


A Green Anniversary

Faster Clean Tech
LED light bulb
The new look of innovation.

December 2014 marked the fifth anniversary of USPTO's Green Technology Pilot Program. USPTO granted 2,459 patents, seventy percent (70%) of the applications accepted by the program have now been granted.Way Better Patents analyzed the first 836 patents grantedunder the program. On the five year anniversary, we thought it was a good time to take another look at the outcomes of the program. This is a first of a series of posts that look at the program and explore the science, technology and IP policy issues it involves.

Read More →


Winter Reading

kindle image
Time to hunker down with a good book. Pixels or Paper?

It's winter and time for reading. Here's what we've been reading. Three are on innovators — the digital revolution's luminaries; a fighter pilot and strategist, and the guys who figured out high frequency trading. One deals with the impact of property rights on American cities. We were intrigued given our look at patents and economic growth. The fifth is a crash course on the impact bioengineering, the biobrick and things sure to challenge the notion of what is a naturally occuring phenomena. Finally one about inventions thatdidn'tchange the world. We weren't sure about this one but it turned out to be an interesting look at inventions from the 19th century culled from the British Archives. This one starts out with a bit of deja vu:

By the first half of the nineteenth century the patent system had become hopelessly expensive and inefficient, giving rise to a vociferous reform movement…
Sound familiar?

They are some fascinating reads for the IP enthusiasts and innovation gurus among us. We hope you enjoy them.

Read More (It's Winter) →


And the Wind Up Is

US Map with patent density
The 2014 Heat Map for US inventors. Good job.Visit theMap Roomfor a down to earth look at innovation.

Here's the 2014 round up in three sentences:

  1. PTO issued 326,381 new (utility + design + plant) patents in 2014 — This is +10.32% Y/Y for utility patents; +2.3% Y/Y for design patents; and +29.31% Y/Y for plant patents.
  2. Business methods patents took it on the chin this year — 4,847 grants with OR cls 705 vs 5,921 in 2013, -18.14% Y/Y.
  3. CPC rocketed up to 87.5% this week, a staggering 0.1% increase over last week, two days before the signature program is supposed to be the primary classification system used to organize by the most important patent office in the world. (We're proud to be a little biased.)

Apologies in advance forour year end ranton the state of affairs with respect to corrections to granted patents. Just repeat after us — it's statutory, it's statutory.

We are working on our year end round up. It has been an interesting year. Please stay tuned.

Have a great New Year. We're looking forward to another great year at Way Better Patents. Have an inventive and innovative 2015.

The Final 2014 Box Scores →


Fading to Dark

The end of another year, the pending demise of the business methods patent (maybe), and the implementation of the CPC.

Before we do the rundown of the patentsphere this week we would be remiss in not pointing out three important patent phenomena fading to black as 2014 comes to a close and something new coming to Way Better Patents.

Read More →


Featured Inventions

patent image
It's a new month. Use the map to check out the latest Coming Soon™ Digests and State Featured Invention pages.

Each week Coming Soon™ Digests include a section calledFeatured Inventionsthat highlights patents by inventors and companies in each state. Patents are overwhelming when you are bombarded with 6,000+ a week. Featured Inventions and the location-based pages that show inventors and patent owners help you gain insight on the inventive activity in your neighborhood. This week we pulled a few out — fracking from Colorado; a way to inscribe ebooks from California; new LED light configurations from North Carolina and a round output modifier to address new requirements to limit the capacity of a gun magazine. It's a new month so it's a good time to check out the Coming Soon™ Digests too.

Check It Out →


Do the Numbers Work?

US Patent 1370316 - 1921
Time for a deep dive into the numbers and requirements on the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program.

USPTO sent an email with the subject line, "Patent Pro Bono Program Expansion to Benefit Inventors Nationwide" from the USPTO Director’s Forum Blog. The goal of the program, "Helping small businesses and independent inventors with limited resources" is admirable, enlisting patent attorneys is also admirable. We think that independent inventors and small firms, the creators of most new jobs in the US, need all the help they can get. Time for some digging around to see how this program works.

Read More →


Where The Owners Are

Innovation This Year
Weekly Heat Map of Patent Owners January through October 2014
Refresh Your Browser To Watch It Again

Here's an animated visual look at the geography and topology of inventors in 2014 through October. The animated map shows the weekly year-to-date heat map of the location of assignees on granted patents around the United States. Follow the link below to see them in action side-by-side.

Watch The Heat Maps Side-by-Side →


Where The Inventors Are

Innovation This Year
Weekly Heat Map of Inventors January through October 2014
Refresh Your Browser To Watch It Again

Here's an animated visual look at the geography and topology of inventors in 2014 through October. The animated map shows the weekly year-to-date heat map of the location of inventors granted patents around the United States, all inventors not just the First Named Inventor. There is a lot more invention going on around the US than indicated by first named inventors alone. Have a look at the year to date maps in the Map Room.

Visit The Map Room →


A Creative Polymath Speaks

Problem-solving isn't always a straightforward process.

How Do People Get New Ideas?

Inventors, artists, musicians, writers, scientists — or anyone and everyone, really — all have in common the need to solve problems. Problem-solving can take many forms, with perhaps the two ends of the spectrum being applying known solutions and developing a new approach through creativity. How does creativity happen? Can it be learned or systematized? Isaac Asimov offers insights in a previously unpublished essay, now made available at theMIT Technology Review.It joins Way Better Patents Book Club.

Read The Article →


What's Going On? — Update

Statistical Map at October 14, 2014.
The October 14 update shows not much has changed.
Statistical Map on September 23, 2014
Looks like examiners have a different view on the CPC Statistical Map.

As the late, great Marvin Gaye asks, What's going on? Way Better Patents took a look at the progress on the transition to the Cooperative Patent Classification system for its presentation at the Patent Information Users Group North East Conference. We looked at the 40,000+ patents granted since March that have CPC data. The link below takes you to the presentation and supporting material.

See What's Going On →

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