technology forecasting

Sources of Patent Data

USPTO and Reed Tech Public Dissemination of Data Contract Update After seven years of service, the Public Dissemination of Data (PDD) contract between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Reed Tech will officially end on June 25, 2020. Sources of Patent Data 1. USPTO self-hosted bulk data The USPTO bulk data-sets for grants and applications come in several versions including: only PDF files, full-text (with and without TIFF images/drawings), and only bibliographic front-page data. The USPTO Gazette bulk files contain notices in each issue which provide important information and changes in rules concerning both patents and trademarks.  The USPTO Cancer Moon Shot data-set is a collection of consists of 269,353 selected patent documents with the purpose to reveal new insights into investments around cancer therapy research and treatments and increase the pace of cancer research. A USPTO bulk-data parser that will download and parse the data files…

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Autonomous Vehicles Patenting Activity

As autonomous vehicles get closer to a market reality, the patent engines will be firing up. What type of patenting activity can we see so far? Searching the USPTO abstracts for combinations of “autonomous”, “self- driving”, “car”, and “vehicle” I found a total of 271 patents. After organizing these patents into groups of their IPC class, I investigated each IPC class to determine if it is emerging or declining technology. Since vehicles such as submarines and airplanes have had autopilot functions since the 80’s there are some IPC classes such as “2D position controls” and “Steering Controls” that are already in decline. In order to find which IPC’s are emerging and which ones are in decline, I charted their growth of each IPC against it’s average over the 34 year period from 1976-2010. This is just a sample of the IPCs that I have investigated, however, it shows that some…

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Pace of Technological Innovation using TCT – Evidence in USPTO

Technology Cycle Time (TCT) is an accepted way to evaluate the pace of technological development although it requires some special considerations. A good analogy is how a chainsaw is a good way to cut down a tree, but it also presents many risks, including the inherent risk of felling a large object. Error of judgement, calculation or interpretation could be fatal. Here is some stark evidence that TCT calculations are a reliable indicator of the current technological environment. The speed of technological development is slowing in recent years. Is this only due to the economic situation? Unlikely. TCT in the USPTO shows that the slowing technological development preceded the economic crisis of 2007. Although overall patenting is increasing dramatically, the rate that the technology is replacing itself is actually slowing. Some evidence of this can be seen when you look at the average processor speed in PC’s and notebooks. Although…

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