USPTO Patent Prosecution Research Data: Unlocking Office Action Traits
41 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2017 Last revised: 30 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 20, 2017
Release of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Office Action Research Dataset for Patents marks the first time that comprehensive data on examiner-issued rejections are readily available to the research community. An “Office action” is a written notification to the applicant of the examiner’s decision on patentability and generally discloses information, such as the grounds for a rejection, the claims affected, and the pertinent prior art. The relative inaccessibility of Office actions and the considerable effort required to obtain meaningful data therefrom has largely prevented researchers from fully exploiting this valuable information. We aim to rectify this situation by using natural language processing and machine learning techniques to systematically extract information from Office actions and construct a relational database of key data elements. This paper describes our methods and provides an overview of the main data files and variables. This data release consists of three files derived from 4.4 million Office actions mailed during the 2008 to mid-2017 period from USPTO examiners to the applicants of 2.2 million unique patent applications.
Keywords: Patents, Patent Examination, Patent Quality, Patent Examiners, USPTO
JEL Classification: O3, O31, O32, O34, O38
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