Patents @ Tuesday January 7, 2014
A New Year
This year promises to be an interesting one in the patentsphere. USPTO will have a new Director. The Hill is working on yet another go at a patent reform bill. The US Supreme Court is hearing a case that is likely to determine the boundaries of what software patents are patentable.
2014 will be a year when the boundaries of invention are up for debate. The information of invention continues with lots of boundary blurring and endless convergence of pure science and information technology. We've been looking for it in interesting places. Check out last week's article on Surgical Navigation, an anatomical geographic positioning system of sorts. Later this week we highlight a new business methods patent for a Smart Room, an invention that demonstrates the convergence between clinical practice and patent care facilitated by information technology.
The Federal Trade Commission will be busy too. It's investigation into Patent Assertion Entities, Initiative 501, is sure to keep the patentsphere engaged. First there is the massive information collection effort to assemble a catalog of information on all patent assertion activity for the last five years. The FTC and the GAO have been down this path before. Hopefully this effort will yield some significant quantitative informatoin instead yet another name for people who buy and sell patents — patent assertion entity, patent monetization entity and the new one from the monetization side of the house, the patent disenfranchised. (For a preview on the scrimmage on the scope of the investigation, read the public comments on the scope of the information request.)
Way Better Patents has a lot on tap for the new year as well — a detailed look at how patents and economic development work together; continuing analysis of the patents that come from taxpayer funding; and the integration of patent applications into our look at trends in innovation. Please stay tuned.
Week One 2014
This week USPTO granted 6,203 utility, design, and plant patents representing the work of 16,629 named inventors.Utility patents are averaging 17 claims while business methods patents average about 21.
As of January 7, 2014 USPTO has granted 5,732 utility patents this year consisting of 993 (19.0%) chemical domain patents; 3,307 (60.0%) electrical domain patents; and 1,432 (20.0%) mechanically–focused patents. This reflects a +1.70% increase year over year (+1.70%Y/Y) for all utility patent grants with -0.20%Y/Y for chemical patents; +4.32%Y/Y for electrical patents; and -2.65%Y/Y performance for mechanical patents. To date 450 design patents (+9.76%Y/Y) have been granted along with 21 (-19.23%Y/Y) plant patents.
This week's top ten patent classifications accounted for 23.9% of new grants. Forty-seven patents contained cross–reference classifications in class 705, business methods patents meaning some element of the patent was focused on business methods features. 156 that had a primary classification, original classification (OR) in patent–speak, in class 705. Electrical patents patents related to semi–conductors, computers, networking technology, location services, and telecommunications accounted for 3,307 of this week's grants. Within the chemical domain semiconductor device manufacturing accounted for 105 new patents, radiation imagery chemistry contributed another , and electrical current producing apparatus, product and process inventions accounted for 43. The informationization of invention continues.
This week the global breakdown shows US first–named inventors receiving 3,001 (48.3%) of the week's grants and foreign first–named inventors receiving 3,213 (51.7%) of the new grants. The top ten foreign country recipients were responsible for 84.0% of all of the foreign patents received this week and 43.5% of all patents. The top ten US states received 67.5% of US patents and 32.6% of all patents.
Japan (972) led the recipients of new US patents from foreign and Asian inventors. This is 30.3% of the patents granted for foreign first–named inventors and 15.6% of all patents. Germany (332) led European inventors. This week inventors from the European Union (EU) received 917 of the 986 patents with first–named inventors from European countries. North American first–named inventors received 3,179 patents this week, 51.2% of the total patents granted.
Patent Composite @ Tuesday January 07, 2014
Click to See 2014 Patents So Far Utility Chemical Electrical Mechanical Business Methods Design Plant
Domain This Week Last Week % Change Last Year % Change Utility 5,732 5,805 -1.26 5,633 1.76 Chemical 993 1,122 -11.49 1,115 -10.94 Electrical 3,307 3,242 2.00 2,916 13.41 Mechanical 1,432 1,441 -0.62 1,602 -10.61 Design 450 350 28.57 410 9.76 Plant 21 18 16.67 10 110.00 Reexam 12 10 20.00 7 71.43 Reissue 10 17 -41.17 11 -9.09 Business Methods (CL 705) 156 158 -1.26 103 51.46 Broad Business Methods 503 504 -0.20 468 7.48 Errata 39 36 8.33 0 N.C. Corrections 296 386 -23.31 599 -50.58
Top Inventions This Week — Utility Composite
Count Class Description 224 370 MULTIPLEX COMMUNICATIONS 196 455 TELECOMMUNICATIONS 192 257 ACTIVE SOLID-STATE DEVICES (E.G., TRANSISTORS, SOLID-STATE DIODES) 156 705 DATA PROCESSING: FINANCIAL, BUSINESS PRACTICE, MANAGEMENT, OR COST/PRICE DETERMINATION 148 345 COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROCESSING AND SELECTIVE VISUAL DISPLAY SYSTEMS 134 709 ELECTRICAL COMPUTERS AND DIGITAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS: MULTICOMPUTER DATA TRANSFERRING 115 514 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 112 424 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 105 438 SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE MANUFACTURING: PROCESS 104 707 DATA PROCESSING: DATABASE AND FILE MANAGEMENT OR DATA STRUCTURES
This week's utility, design, and plant patents represent the work of 16,629 named inventors. Utility patents average 2.7 inventors per patent. Design and Plant patents average 2.1 and 1.6, respectively.
Domain # Inventors # Patents Inventors/Patent Utility 15,661 5,732 2.7 Chemical 3,375 993 3.4 Electrical 8,944 3,307 2.7 Mechanical 3,342 1,432 2.3 Design 934 450 2.1 Plant 34 21 1.6 Reissue 32 10 3.2 Class 705 — Business Methods 457 156 2.9 Broad Business Methods 1,127 415 2.7 Total New Grants 16,629 6,214
Inventions & Claims
Domain Patents Inventions (Claims) Average Claims/Patent Utility 5,732 96,665 16.8 Chemical 993 15,380 15.4 Electrical 3,307 58,734 17.7 Mechanical 1,432 22,551 15.7 Business Methods 156 3,315 21.2 Broad Business Methods 503 9,665 19.2
Top Chemical Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 115 514 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 112 424 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 105 438 SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE MANUFACTURING: PROCESS 62 435 CHEMISTRY: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY 59 428 STOCK MATERIAL OR MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES 43 429 CHEMISTRY: ELECTRICAL CURRENT PRODUCING APPARATUS, PRODUCT, AND PROCESS 28 422 CHEMICAL APPARATUS AND PROCESS DISINFECTING, DEODORIZING, PRESERVING, OR STERILIZING 26 427 COATING PROCESSES 24 264 PLASTIC AND NONMETALLIC ARTICLE SHAPING OR TREATING: PROCESSES 22 210 LIQUID PURIFICATION OR SEPARATION
Top Electrical Patents This Week
Count Class Description 224 370 MULTIPLEX COMMUNICATIONS 196 455 TELECOMMUNICATIONS 192 257 ACTIVE SOLID-STATE DEVICES (E.G., TRANSISTORS, SOLID-STATE DIODES) 156 705 DATA PROCESSING: FINANCIAL, BUSINESS PRACTICE, MANAGEMENT, OR COST/PRICE DETERMINATION 148 345 COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROCESSING AND SELECTIVE VISUAL DISPLAY SYSTEMS 134 709 ELECTRICAL COMPUTERS AND DIGITAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS: MULTICOMPUTER DATA TRANSFERRING 104 707 DATA PROCESSING: DATABASE AND FILE MANAGEMENT OR DATA STRUCTURES 98 382 IMAGE ANALYSIS 89 701 DATA PROCESSING: VEHICLES, NAVIGATION, AND RELATIVE LOCATION 87 726 INFORMATION SECURITY
Top Mechanical Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 64 606 SURGERY 53 600 SURGERY 51 463 AMUSEMENT DEVICES: GAMES 50 604 SURGERY 44 362 ILLUMINATION 44 347 INCREMENTAL PRINTING OF SYMBOLIC INFORMATION 38 73 MEASURING AND TESTING 38 52 STATIC STRUCTURES (E.G., BUILDINGS) 36 60 POWER PLANTS 35 623 PROSTHESIS (I.E., ARTIFICIAL BODY MEMBERS), PARTS THEREOF, OR AIDS AND ACCESSORIES THEREFOR 31 235 REGISTERS 30 280 LAND VEHICLES
Top Design Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 45 D12 TRANSPORTATION 45 D14 RECORDING, COMMUNICATION, OR INFORMATION RETRIEVAL EQUIPMENT 34 D9 PACKAGES AND CONTAINERS FOR GOODS 33 D24 MEDICAL AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 29 D23 ENVIRONMENTAL HEATING AND COOLING; FLUID HANDLING AND SANITARY EQUIPMENT 28 D7 EQUIPMENT FOR PREPARING OR SERVING FOOD OR DRINK NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED 26 D16 PHOTOGRAPHY AND OPTICAL EQUIPMENT 26 D26 LIGHTING 22 D21 GAMES, TOYS, AND SPORTS GOODS 21 D15 MACHINES NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED 18 D2 APPAREL AND HABERDASHERY 18 D8 TOOLS AND HARDWARE 17 D13 EQUIPMENT FOR PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, OR TRANSFORMATION OF ENERGY
Plant Patents are granted to an inventor who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. If you've ever eaten a pluot, you've enjoyed the fruit of a plant patent. This week USPTO granted 21 new plant patents, (21 so far this year).
Top States and Top Countries
Top States # Top Countries # California 819 Japan 972 Texas 194 South Korea 367 New York 189 Germany 332 Massachusetts 156 Taiwan 254 Illinois 145 China 215 Washington 122 Canada 172 New Jersey 115 United Kingdom 136 Florida 99 France 125 Michigan 94 Israel 67 Minnesota 93 Italy 60 Total 2,026 Total 2,700 % US 67.5 % Foreign 84.0 % All 32.6 % All 43.5
Global IP Markets
This week patents with first–named inventors identified by countries outside of the US accounted for 3,213 patents or 51.7% of this week's patents.
Asian inventors continue to dominate the number of foreign first–named inventors receiving patents contributing 1,890 patents or 58.8%, of patents awarded to foreign grantees and 30.4% of the total granted this week. East and Southeast Asian first–named inventors received 1,844 including patents granted to Japan (972); Korea (367); Taiwan (254); China (215); Singapore (21); Hong Kong (8); Malaysia (1); Philippines (2) and Thailand (4). India (46) was responsible for the 46 patents from South Asia. Inventors in the Russian Federation received five (5).
European inventors were granted 986 patents this week or 30.7% of all foreign patents granted and 15.9% of all patents this week. European Union countries received 917 patents. Non-EU countries received — Switzerland (51); Norway (14); Monaco (2); Iceland (1); Liechtenstein (1).
Middle Eastern first–named inventors accounted for 84 patents led by Israel (67), followed by Kuwait (5); Saudi Arabia (5); Turkey (3); United Arab Emirates (3); Armenia (1).
North American patents accounted for 3,179 of the total patents granted this week. The count includes the 3,001 patents granted to US first–named inventors; and inventions awarded to Canada (172) and Mexico (4); Bermuda (1); Greenland (1). North American inventors received 51.2% of all patents granted this week.
Central American and Caribbean based inventors received 2 patents this week awarded to first–named inventors from Costa Rica (2).
South American participation included thirteen (13): Brazil (7), followed by Argentina (2); Chile (2); Peru (1); Uruguay (1).
There were three (3) African grantees this week: South Africa (2), followed by Cameroon (1).
Oceania based inventors were granted 52 patents — Australia (50), followed by New Zealand (2).
(Way Better Patents organizes its Global Indicators based on the region designations assigned by the US CIA World Fact Book.)