Monday, October 23, 2006

Patent Information News 3/2006

The October 2006 issue of Patent Information News is now available.

This issue contains articles on:

  • Worldwide database moves to XML
  • EPO patent information conference, Nov. 6-8
  • esp@cenet user statistics
  • Open Patent Services: new features
  • Legal status from New Zealand
  • Data from Iceland
  • Patent mapping--a aid to corporate decision-making?

Monday, October 16, 2006

WIPO Student Workbook to Inventions and Patents - Now in French and Spanish

The educational workbook Inventions and Patents is now available in English, Spanish and French. The workbook is geared toward students 8-13 years old. The workbook is the first in the WIPO student learning series, Learn from the Past, Create the Future.

WIPO Report on Worldwide Patent Activity

The World Intellectual Property Organisation has published its annual report on Statistics of Worldwide Patent Activity. (Data current to 2004.)

According to the report, the number of patent applications file in 2004 rose to 1,559,000. More than 600,000 patents were granted worldwide in 2004. Other sections of the report cover filings by residents and non-residents, indicators of patent activity (filings per million population, per GDP, etc.), issued patents and patents in force.

Inventor Cuts Against the Grain

Independent inventors often underestimate the hurdles they must overcome in order to get their invention to market. Most don't even consider the government regulations and industry standards that could derail their attempts.

Take the case of Stephen Gass reported in the Oct. 10 Washington Post. Mr. Gass invented a device that he claims prevents power saws from inflicting severe injuries by stopping a rotating blade in fractions of a second. Sounds like a no brainer, right? But the power tool industry balked at licensing his invention. It even failed to win the endorsement of independent Underwriters Labs. Most inventors might give up in the face of such resistance, but Mr. Gass is no ordinary inventor... he's also a patent attorney.

great case study to share with both experienced and first-time inventors.

Monday, October 02, 2006

U.S. Patent Counts, Jan. 1-Sept. 30, 2006

The USPTO issued a record-breaking 54,749 patents from April-June and an impressive 50,253 patents in the Q3 from July-September, the first and second highest totals since early 2002. The increase is surprising given the sharp drop in patents in late 2005--only 33,637 patents were issued in Q4--and the agency's ongoing efforts to hire and train hundreds of new examiners, a process that is bound to negatively impact productivity. The USPTO hired 940 new examiners last year and will hire 1,000 more per year through 2012. If the pace continues in Q4, the USPTO could be on track to issue more than 200,000 patents in 2006, a 26 percent increase over 2005. Since 2001, the number of patents issued per year has declined in three out of four years. More than 400,000 new applications were filed in fiscal year 2005.

Table 1. Issued Patents, 2001-2006

2001 184,172 -
2002 177,485 -3.63%
2003 187,147 5.44%
2004 181,443 -3.05%
2005 157,819 -13.02%
YTD 149,701

Published applications in 3Q totaled 74,902, breaking the previous record of 74,255 set in Q4 of 2004. However, the rate of growth has slowed considerably this year; it is likely that the number of published applications will fall between 290,000 and 293,000 in 2006, an increase of 0.4-1.4% over 2005.

Table 2. Published Applications, 2001-2006

2001 56,404 -
2002 199,006 252.82%
2003 237,089 19.14%
2004 268,399 13.21%
2005 289,614 7.90%
YTD 218,642