The USPTO Patent Examination Research Dataset: A Window on the Process of Patent Examination
119 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 30, 2015
A surprisingly small amount of empirical research has been focused on the process of obtaining a patent grant from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The purpose of this document is to describe the Patent Examination Dataset (PatEX), make a large amount of information from the Public Patent Application Information Retrieval system (Public PAIR) more readily available to researchers. PatEX includes records on over 9 million US patent applications, with information complete as of January 24, 2015 for all applications included in Public PAIR with filing dates prior to January 1, 2015. Variables in PatEX cover most of the relevant information related to US patent examination, including characteristics of inventions, applications, applicants, attorneys, and examiners, and status codes for all actions taken, by both the applicant and examiner, throughout the examination process. A significant section of this documentation describes the selectivity issues that arise from the omission of “nonpublic” applications. We find that the selection issues were much more pronounced for applications received prior to the implementation of the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) in late 2000. We also find that the extent of any selection bias will be at least partially determined by the sub-population of interest in any given research project.
Keywords: Patents, Patent Examination, Intellectual Property, Innovation
JEL Classification: O3, L1, L2, G2, G3
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