Can Someone Patent Better Patent Database Queries?

from the too-difficult dept

While we take issue with the idea that people who patent a lot are innovative, it is still interesting to find out about who is doing all this patenting these days. Every year or so some stats get published about what companies are patenting the most things, but apparently getting some of the other stats out of the database is a bit trickier. Slashdot points out that USA Today’s Kevin Maney decided he’d like to go interview the top living patent holders in the US… only to find out that the USPTO has no clue and can’t come up with an easy way to figure it out. The database query just isn’t that easy, and the one guy the office has to do stuff like that has been busy on other projects. Maney took some guesses, based on the last time that info was released (1997), and points out that the US citizen who might have the most US patents (others outside the US have more), has many patents for things like “Method of covering a flower pot.” Perhaps that proves the point we were making in the first sentence of this post.

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Comments on “Can Someone Patent Better Patent Database Queries?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I read the patent and aside from all the legalese garb, I am still at a loss. What did they invent? Nothing, to me it simply sounds like they are just adding information to a database to include regional businesses. Of course their logic is flawed, because their resoning assumes that all busineses would want to be listed on the net. I am sure that some of the mobile plumbers could care less about this. We all know that word of mouth sells better than anything else.

Nadine says:

If only it were so easy

You have to consider the database format, how stuff is input into the database. How to get stuff that is currently in the database into a new format (if it is necessary to provide more functionality). Installing it sitewide and training examiners to use it. That is not even considering what research they need to do to properly plan the system and come up with one that will be consistent with the whole Trilateral Office thing.
It’s not impossible, but it will take investment of a lot of time and money. Considering the backlog in some of the art units now (18-30 months before the first O.A.) well…
(Besides if the gov is making money from the current system, why would they care to change it?)

mhh5 says:

USPTO doesn't care.

I ran into this problem yrs ago, and I emailed with a USPTO employee who seemed rather uninterested in improving the accessibility of their systems. They just don’t care. So it’s up to private services to fill in the gap, and I’m sure the USPTO will make some money off of licensing access to their database.

Michael Birnholz says:

Re: USPTO doesn't care.

Ahhh, a new business idea? I think that IP attorneys and inventors would gladly pay for a ‘google’ version of the USPTO database. I also noticed, that my comments here get indexed quite well at google, so now that I created this business model, perhaps Google will give me a finders fee of some sort 🙂

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