USPTO Patent Number and Case Code File Dataset Documentation

17 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2019 Last revised: 31 Jan 2020

Date Written: December 1, 2019


Researchers studying the U.S. patent litigation system have typically had to rely on proprietary, commercial databases to retrieve comprehensive lists of litigated patents and associated case information, precluding publication of underlying data and the verification of study results. In other situations, researchers have used incomplete datasets, potentially resulting in biased results. In order to overcome these limitations, the authors and their research teams reviewed every available initial complaint and related documents in roughly 99 percent of all patent cases filed in U.S. district courts between 2003 and 2016 in order to generate a comprehensive list of litigated patents in those cases. In addition, the authors and their teams coded the case “type” for all of these actions, such as infringement, declaratory judgment, false marking, ownership dispute, malpractice, among others. The resulting dataset can be downloaded in bulk and be used and reproduced with no licensing restrictions. These data have been married to USPTO’s Patent Litigation Docket Reports Dataset, which provides full case and docket information for every one of these cases. Thus, for the first time, researchers can now use a single, comprehensive dataset of patents, case types, and related case information to conduct empirical studies of patent litigation in the U.S. district courts.

Keywords: Patents, Litigation, Intellectual Property

JEL Classification: O3, K4

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, David L. and Sichelman, Ted M. and Miller, Richard, USPTO Patent Number and Case Code File Dataset Documentation (December 1, 2019). USPTO Economic Working Paper No. 2019-05, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 19-12, San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 20-435, Available at SSRN: or

David L. Schwartz

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Ted M. Sichelman

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
(619) 260-7512 (Phone)
(619) 260-2748 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://

Richard Miller (Contact Author)

United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )

VA 22313-1451
United States

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