Patent Transactions in the Marketplace: Lessons from the USPTO Patent Assignment Dataset
56 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2015 Last revised: 21 May 2016
Date Written: November 1, 2015
While records of the assignments (transactions) affecting US patents and patent applications have been maintained by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for over 40 years, few researchers have used them. To help remedy this deficiency, the USPTO Office of Chief Economist is releasing research-ready data files. This paper describes the contents of the USPTO Patent Assignment Dataset, a database covering roughly 6 million assignments and other transactions recorded during 1970-2014 and affecting about 10 million US patents or patent applications published 1930-2014. Records include information on transferred patent and application numbers, the dates a transaction was executed by the parties and subsequently recorded at the USPTO, the assignor(s) and assignee(s), and the “nature of conveyance” (for instance, whether the transaction was an assignment, merger, security agreement, or license). This paper provides a comprehensive description and presents stylized facts to facilitate better understanding and motivate future research. Although the paper describes limitations inherent in the data, their release nevertheless offers researchers many novel avenues for conducting original research, particularly those related to the study of innovation, the markets for technology, and the financial collateralization of intellectual property and intangible assets.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Patents, Markets for Technology, Innovation, Licensing, Finance
JEL Classification: O3, L2, G1, G2, G3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation