News archive

Using IFI’s New Interactive Ranking Tool, Part One

If you’re looking for an easy way to do simple patent research, our new Top 1000 Interactive tool is the perfect place to start. Based on the top 1000 companies who received US patent grants in 2018, you can search, sort, filter, and generate charts to make your own discoveries. Draw upon the examples below as a starting point.
Search for a Company
Using Siemens as an example, we typed the…

IP Service World — AI is Here and Making a Difference Now

At this conference held in Munich during the last week of November 2018, keynote speeches from senior IP leaders at Google, IBM, and Siemens, and many vendor presentations highlighted how advanced IP platforms are already taking advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning. A record audience of 630 delegates from 55 countries heard how patent authorities around the globe are also adopting software to assist with administrative functions and scouring prior art that multiplies in volume each year.…

Blockchain Patents Unchained: Patent Landscape from IALE Tecnología

This analysis of blockchain patent applications and grants from IALE Tecnología, based on IFI data, offers an in-depth examination of this new technology. 

IFI to Demonstrate a New Data Discovery Technique at IP Service World

It can be a challenge to stay on top of the patent assets of large companies with many subsidiaries. It’s easy to overlook the true impact of a particular organization if you’re unaware of its holdings and what the combined picture looks like.
Janice Stevenson, EVP of Client Relations, will highlight new ways to discover the innovative technologies being introduced by established organizations.

Can Patent Search Skills Be Validated? Certification Could Help

November 13, 2018: this article has been amended with new information from PIUG, and updated dates for the QPIP exam. 

It’s easier to search for patent documents than ever before, thanks to many outstanding software tools and free services like Google Patents. However, there is a downside to this ease of use. While the information is readily available, making sense of it requires training and experience. IP decisions based on faulty research can wind up costing…

Mind the Gap: Connecting Your Application to a Patent Data Source

For developers using patent data to create an application, or for analysts using patent data to generate insights, it is important to Mind the Gap. The gap I am talking about is the gap between your application and your patent data source. 

Digital Twin Patent Analysis from IALE Tecnología

Our partner IALE Tecnología used IFI data to put together this interesting look at digital twin technology. For those not familiar with the term, it refers to a digital replica of a physical object, and is commonly used in manufacturing and gaining ground in other areas such as healthcare.

IALE performed an extensive analysis of the leading companies, countries, and types of innovations receiving…

High Quality Patent Data Is More Important Than Ever for IP Analysis

According to IBM, poor data quality costs the US economy $3.1 trillion a year. This figure includes lost opportunity costs and bad decisions based on faulty data. In IP (intellectual property), the direct costs of bad information can include multimillion dollar lawsuits with sky-high litigation fees, and the indirect costs of damaged reputations and lowered company valuation.

While there are…

Investment Management Firms Are Embracing Alternative Data–Patents Can Play a Role

Alternative data is defined in the context of investing as nontraditional data sets that support investment decisions. With the growth and availability of big data, going outside the normal realms of financial information such as quarterly earnings reports or merger and acquisition news is a trend that’s catching fire in the investment management (IM) community.

The lure of achieving alpha, returns that outperform a market index or benchmark, is driving interest in new types of alternative data.

New Data and Improved English Translations

Product release notes

Early April 2018: Translations for EP and WO Records
As we announced in March, we have added English translations to EP and WO records that were filed in languages other than English.

For EP records these are the translated fields that we added:

  • Abstracts: 332,878
  • Descriptions: 1,389,918
  • Claims: 859,589
For WO records:
  • Abstracts: 4,262
  • Descriptions : 1,070,417

Quantum Computing and Beyond: Can Patent Landscaping Predict the Future?

Quantum computing is going to change the world, and it’s no longer the stuff of science fiction. A series of patent landscape reports from Patinformatics, the firm of industry expert Tony Trippe, shows a recent explosion of patent applications and grants which are leading to some of the first real-world quantum computers. The number of filings has increased by more than 380% since 2014.


Quantum information technology patent families by year

Patent Number 10 Million Sheds Light on Industry Trends

If you’re interested in knowing what the future direction of technology is, monitoring patent trends can tell you a lot. While not every patented invention makes its way into a product, if a lot of new patent applications focus on a particular area, you can be reasonably sure this development will show up in a real-world application.
The ten millionth patent issued by The United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) on June 19, 2018 is a good example.

What Can We Learn From Ten Million US Patents?

The ten millionth US Patent will be granted on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (Update: the patent was granted to Raythoen for a laser detection and ranging system.) Is this just another number, or a true milestone for intellectual property? It depends who you ask. 

Patent Education Resources

As many new uses for patent data come to light, we’re getting requests for basic education on patent content. We’re happy to provide guidance to customers with this need, and we’ve listed educational content from organizations we trust below.

United States Patent System

Patent Searching Fundamentals Course
Patent Information Users Group (PIUG)
US focus with some international content
This 2-day…

What to Watch in Patents: IFI Staff Offers Insight for World IP Day

Our staff at IFI CLAIMS® consists of both employees new to the world of patents and those with decades of experience. For this year’s World IP Day, we thought it would be interesting to get their insights on what trends to watch, ways that patents are more interesting than an average person may guess, and why patents and IP matter. 
World IP Day

US Patent Grants to China are Growing Rapidly

As part of our annual Top 50 list of patent assignees, we also take a look at industry trends. Our research uncovered that in 2017, China was awarded 28% more US patents than in 2016. Their total of 11,240 granted patents is ten times the number of patents they were granted in 2007. That pushed the nation into the top five recipients by country for the first time, behind the US, Japan, Korea, and Germany. While patent grants to China still make up only 3.5% of the more than 320,000 awards, it’s likely this share will continue to increase.…

IFI to Present a New Way to Access Patent Data at PIUG Biotech 2018

Our senior analyst Larry Cady will show attendees of the Patent Information Users Group (PIUG) Biotechnology conference how to combine data sources using Google’s BigQuery and Tableau. Using a CRISPR based example, he will join free public patent data, fee based enriched patent data, chemical annotations from SureChEMBL, and simulated private company data into one report.


Using Patent Data for Drug Development

Bringing new drugs to market is a complex and expensive process. According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the average cost of a new drug is $2.6 billion, including failures and time spent.

Using patent data is a cost effective, smart way to mitigate financial risks. Adding patent information to big data analysis can help avoid costly intellectual property issues and provide scientists with access to research that’s never published in journals or presented at conferences.…

IFI Data on Google BigQuery Untangles the PTAB

IFI Data Enrichments on Google BigQuery provide analysts with additional insight into PTAB cases, and patent legal status in general.  

Public Patent Data Now Available on Google BigQuery

At IFI CLAIMS, we are very excited about the release of the Google Patents Public Datasets on Google’s BigQuery.  We are proud to be the source of the core, public data table which provides global bibliographic data and US full text data free of charge.  It is our hope that researchers around the world will use this data table to make new patent related discoveries.  We are also announcing the availability of IFI patent data enrichments on BigQuery as a paid table.  
Modest processing fees from Google BigQuery will apply when querying the data, but the first 1TB of data processed per month is free.

The main features of the Public Patent Table are

  • Updated Quarterly
  • Basic Bibliographic Data for Global Patents
  • Full Text for US Patents and Applications
  • No IFI Value Added Data
  • No IFI full text translations
Please explore the public database – you can use the sample queries below to get started.  

IFI Legal Status Indicator for EPO Designated States

We recently published a blog post that covered how IFI data enhancements make it easier to know when a patent will expire. That article focused on US patents, and in this post we’ll discuss European patents.

Things are more complicated for European Patent Office (EPO) granted patents. The European Patent Office grants patents which may be registered in specific countries or “designated states”…

IFI Data Enhancements Simplify Complex Patent Expiration Rules

The 20 Year Term Rule

As a general rule of thumb, the effective life of a patent extends to 20 years from the application date.  This rule has changed over time.  For example, in the US, the rule was 17 years from the grant date prior to 1978.  Some countries have different rules, but the major patent granting authorities, including the European Patent Office, Germany, China, Japan and Korea all…

New Country Coverage & Translations

At IFI CLAIMS®, we're always seeking to expand our data coverage. We recently released national patent office data for:
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan

We have also released machine translations for Canadian applications and grants originally published in French by the Canadian Patent Office. This data is available to CLAIMS Direct Premium subscribers. 

New Country Coverage Details and Examples

Select the Right Patent Data Source for Your Big Data Project

Larry Cady, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

Have you wondered how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep learning can be applied to patent data?  Sumeet Sandhu, CEO of Elementary IP, has written a very informative paper shedding light on the possibilities titled “Deep Learning AI for Patent Search and Analytics”. She also presented the material at the Patent Information User…

IFI Has Not Forgotten About Design Patents: The US Design Top 50

by Larry Cady, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

In the US, designs can be patented.  According to the US Patent & Trademark Office:
A design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. […] A design patent protects only the appearance of the article and not structural or utilitarian features.

Design patents are often overlooked and…

IFI Patent Status Indicator Now Available for EP Documents: An Example

How do you tell if a patent is in force in a European country?  IFI CLAIMS can now provide an easy answer. 

The IFI Patent Status indicator is a value added patent data field produced by IFI CLAIMS and available in our XML database.  For patent grants, the value can be:

  • “Active”
  • “Active – Reinstated”
  • “Expired – Fee Related“
  • “Expired - Lifetime”
  • “Ceased” (no longer active due to failure to

The Rapid Growth in Chinese Semiconductor Patents

The number of Chinese semiconductor patents grew rapidly in 2015 compared to 2014.  IFI CLAIMS has found that the number of Chinese semiconductor patent grants jumped by 88%.   IFI CLAIMS looked at patents granted by the Chinese Patent Office for patent applications with Chinese priority.  Focusing on applications with Chinese priority emphasizes technology developed in China.  IFI used the international…

Korean Patent Office Leads in 2015 Patent Pendency, EPO and DE Lag

Patent pendency is the time between a patent's filing data and its grant or issue date. IFI CLAIMS has examined patent pendency across the world’s major patent offices.  The figure below shows the mean pendency for patents issued in 2015.  The size of each symbol reflects the number of grants issued by each office.  

2015 IFI CLAIMS German Patent Trends

2015 IFI CLAIMS German Patent Trends

Assignees:  In Germany, the Top 50 is dominated by automobile and auto parts manufacturers.  This compares to the US where computer and telecommunications companies dominate.

Classifications: The top patent classifications for 2015 are:

2015 DE CPC 2015 count Description
Y10T 714 Metal Working and Hardware – fasteners

The USPTO’s PTAB is very busy - and why it matters

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) was formed as part of the December 2014 America Invents Act (AIA).

The PTAB makes decisions on patentability after the initial patent examination.  Anyone can appeal an examiner’s decision on patentability or the rejection of claims.  Specifically, the PTAB deals with Inter Partes Disputes.  These include:

  • Inter Partes Review (IPR)
  • Post Grant