Guest blog post by Thomas Beach, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Scott Beliveau, Open Data Team Lead, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Nobody doubts the value of data today, and the Obama Administration has taken many important steps towards making government data more open and accessible to the public. As Secretary Pritzker likes to remind us, the Department of Commerce is “America’s Data Agency,” and has a unique and central role in that transformation. Although open data feels like the flavor of the month for every government agency to tout, this is especially meaningful for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The agency houses a treasure trove of data, and now has crystalized a path forward to better sharing it with the world.
Disclosing and disseminating data supports our broader mission of advancing American innovation. After all, the patent system rests on the trade-off between the disclosure of an invention and the right to exclude others from using it. From that perspective, the USPTO has been in the business of open data for a very long time. If we were going to live up to our mission in this interconnected, digital world of disseminating information about patents and trademarks, we knew we needed an agency-wide commitment to improve our data delivery on all fronts. And that was the spirit in which we hosted the USPTO Open Data Roundtable with NYU’s GovLab on December 8th.
The roundtable brought together diverse members of our user community, including industry representatives, prior art searchers, and academics, with USPTO’s data team.