The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has entered an agreement with Google, which will see Google hosting unmodified patent and trademark public data.
The USPTO says it doesn't have the technical capability to provide the information in a bulk machine readable format, and that the arrangement is to serve as a bridge as the USPTO develops an acquisition strategy for this.
"The USPTO is committed to providing increased transparency as called for by the President's Open Government Initiative. An important element of that transparency is making valuable public patent and trademark information more widely available in a bulk form so companies and researchers can download it for analysis and research," said Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos. "Because the USPTO does not currently have the technical capability to offer the data in bulk form from our own Web site, we have teamed with Google to provide the data in a way that is convenient and at no cost for those who desire it."
"We're happy to work with the USPTO to make patent and trademark data more accessible and useful," said Jon Orwant, Engineering Manager for Google. "It's important to make public data easier to gather and analyze. And when the data is free, that’s even better."
The USPTO's public data in bulk form has only been available as a fee-based service until this point. The agency says about ten terabytes will be made available. This will include patent grants, published applications, trademark applications, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, patent classification info, patent maintenance fee events, and patent/trademark assignments.
The partnership is a no-cost two year agreement. The information will be free to the public as well.
Currently, Google already has a Patent search service in beta, which lets users search over 7 million patents.