Patents @ Tuesday December 30, 2014
And the wind up is...
This week USPTO granted 6,571 utility, design, and plant patents representing the work of 17,770 named inventors, closer to the new normal. This week's top ten patent classifications accounted for 22.9% of new grants. Information-based patents accounted for 91.5% of these patents. Electrical patents patents related to semi–conductors, computers, networking technology, location services, and telecommunications accounted for 3,407 of this week's grants. Within the chemical domain semiconductor device manufacturing accounted for 115 new patents, radiation imagery chemistry contributed another 25, and electrical current producing apparatus, product and process inventions accounted for 61. The informationization of invention continues.
Business methods patents made a minor comeback with 89 of this week's grants having a primary classification, the original classification, in class 705. Thirty two had cross–reference classifications in class 705.
As of December 30, 2014 USPTO has granted 301,643 utility patents this year consisting of 57,296 (19.0%) chemical domain patents; 164,471 (54.5%) electrical domain patents; and 79,876 (26.5%) mechanically–focused patents. This reflects a +10.32% increase year over year (+10.32%Y/Y) for all utility patent grants with +8.89%Y/Y for chemical patents; +11.26%Y/Y for electrical patents; and +9.43%Y/Y performance for mechanical patents. To date 23,666 design patents (+2.30%Y/Y) have been granted along with 1,072 (+29.31%Y/Y) plant patents.
This week the global breakdown shows US first–named inventors receiving 3,219 (48.9%) of the week's grants and foreign first–named inventors receiving 3,366 (51.1%) of the new grants. The top ten foreign country recipients were responsible for 84.2% of all of the foreign patents received this week and 43.1% of all patents. The top ten US states received 71.7% of US patents and 35.0% of all patents.
Japan (1,142) led the recipients of new US patents from foreign and Asian inventors. This is 33.9% of the patents granted for foreign first–named inventors and 17.3% of all patents. Germany (364) led European inventors. This week inventors from the European Union (EU) received 957 of the 1,019 patents with first–named inventors from European countries. North American first–named inventors received 3,333 patents this week, 50.6% of the total patents granted.
A Year End Rant. We can't help ourselves.
Corrections total 24,843 year–to–date. USPTO added another 363 new corrections this week. We know. It's statutory. USPTO has limited ability to make corrections and doesn't want to be in the middle of a war over whether the changes might render a patent unenforceable. It's time for USPTO to break out and demand higher quality data from their applicants and their data contractors. We've talked about methods to create incentives to have electronic filers provide more accurate data. It's also time for USPTO to support the public by making information about corrections more transparent. USPTO creates a text document and turns it into an image so that patent data providers can take the image and turn it into text. Just post the text version and we'll figure it out.
There is an interesting feature of all these corrections. People don't correct patents that they are going to abandon. These corrections, statutory though they may be, are important for the public to have access to in a more usable format.
We took a detailed look at the corrections published two weeks ago. Here is what we learned from that experience. First, it's torture to access and analyze the changes in the context of the published patent document. There is no way to map view the changes within the patent documents. Second, it's a good place to see where the patent wars are about to breakout. The data for the corrections week we looked at suggested that one of the major patent assertion entities was cleaning up their portfolio fixing lots of errors in the claims and specifications of patents that were at least five years old. Third, the amount of typos was mind boggling. We particularly loved the grammatical changes that took correct grammar and turned it into incorrect grammar that made the patent even more convoluted. The Grammar Police were appalled. The number of times a Claim number pointing to different independent or dependent claim was surprising. Imagine an inventor trying to use the patent document to try to figure out if their invention is patentable only to find out that the claims they are reading are pointing to the wrong related claims. Finally, some of the patents were well into their final maintenance period — that spells litigation prep to us but we digress.
USPTO needs a new correction strategy. We're not sure what that is. The current mantra is that there isn't much USPTO can do because, well it's STATUTORY. But really — 24,843 corrections in one year.
Patent Composite @ Tuesday December 30, 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 6,153 3,972 54.91 5,805 5.99 Chemical 1,146 783 46.36 1,122 2.14 Electrical 3,407 2,137 59.43 3,242 5.09 Mechanical 1,600 1,052 52.09 1,441 11.03 Design 400 400 0.00 350 14.29 Plant 18 5 260.00 18 0.00 Reexam 8 20 -60.00 10 -20.00 Reissue 14 7 100.00 17 -17.64 Business Methods (CL 705) 89 16 456.25 158 -43.67 Broad Business Methods 493 415 18.80 504 -2.18 Errata 46 63 -26.98 36 27.78 Corrections 363 518 -29.92 386 -5.96
Top Inventions This Week — Utility Composite
Count Class Description 239 370 MULTIPLEX COMMUNICATIONS 211 257 ACTIVE SOLID-STATE DEVICES (E.G., TRANSISTORS, SOLID-STATE DIODES) 191 455 TELECOMMUNICATIONS 148 345 COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROCESSING AND SELECTIVE VISUAL DISPLAY SYSTEMS 139 709 ELECTRICAL COMPUTERS AND DIGITAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS: MULTICOMPUTER DATA TRANSFERRING 127 514 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 120 701 DATA PROCESSING: VEHICLES, NAVIGATION, AND RELATIVE LOCATION 115 438 SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE MANUFACTURING: PROCESS 111 382 IMAGE ANALYSIS 108 375 PULSE OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
This week's utility, design, and plant patents represent the work of 17,770 named inventors. Utility patents average 2.7 inventors per patent. Design and Plant patents average 2.2 and 1.1, respectively.
Domain # Inventors # Patents Inventors/Patent Utility 16,878 6,153 2.7 Chemical 3,880 1,146 3.4 Electrical 9,230 3,407 2.7 Mechanical 3,768 1,600 2.4 Design 872 400 2.2 Plant 20 18 1.1 Reissue 52 14 3.7 Class 705 — Business Methods 292 89 3.3 Broad Business Methods 1,148 416 2.8 Total New Grants 17,770 6,585
Inventions & Claims
Domain Patents Inventions (Claims) Average Claims/Patent Utility 6,153 103,017 16.7 Chemical 1,146 18,478 16.1 Electrical 3,407 60,032 17.6 Mechanical 1,600 24,507 15.3 Business Methods 89 1,789 20.1 Broad Business Methods 493 9,249 18.7
Top Chemical Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 127 514 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 115 438 SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE MANUFACTURING: PROCESS 81 424 DRUG, BIO-AFFECTING AND BODY TREATING COMPOSITIONS 76 435 CHEMISTRY: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY 61 429 CHEMISTRY: ELECTRICAL CURRENT PRODUCING APPARATUS, PRODUCT, AND PROCESS 59 428 STOCK MATERIAL OR MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES 42 422 CHEMICAL APPARATUS AND PROCESS DISINFECTING, DEODORIZING, PRESERVING, OR STERILIZING 33 800 MULTICELLULAR LIVING ORGANISMS AND UNMODIFIED PARTS THEREOF AND RELATED PROCESSES 25 430 RADIATION IMAGERY CHEMISTRY: PROCESS, COMPOSITION, OR PRODUCT THEREOF 23 427 COATING PROCESSES
Top Electrical Patents This Week
Count Class Description 239 370 MULTIPLEX COMMUNICATIONS 211 257 ACTIVE SOLID-STATE DEVICES (E.G., TRANSISTORS, SOLID-STATE DIODES) 191 455 TELECOMMUNICATIONS 148 345 COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROCESSING AND SELECTIVE VISUAL DISPLAY SYSTEMS 139 709 ELECTRICAL COMPUTERS AND DIGITAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS: MULTICOMPUTER DATA TRANSFERRING 120 701 DATA PROCESSING: VEHICLES, NAVIGATION, AND RELATIVE LOCATION 111 382 IMAGE ANALYSIS 108 375 PULSE OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS 107 348 TELEVISION 100 707 DATA PROCESSING: DATABASE AND FILE MANAGEMENT OR DATA STRUCTURES
Top Mechanical Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 75 606 SURGERY 52 347 INCREMENTAL PRINTING OF SYMBOLIC INFORMATION 51 604 SURGERY 46 600 SURGERY 44 60 POWER PLANTS 44 362 ILLUMINATION 39 623 PROSTHESIS (I.E., ARTIFICIAL BODY MEMBERS), PARTS THEREOF, OR AIDS AND ACCESSORIES THEREFOR 34 73 MEASURING AND TESTING 34 123 INTERNAL-COMBUSTION ENGINES 31 280 LAND VEHICLES 30 52 STATIC STRUCTURES (E.G., BUILDINGS) 27 29 METAL WORKING 27 180 MOTOR VEHICLES
Top Design Inventions This Week
Count Class Description 55 D14 RECORDING, COMMUNICATION, OR INFORMATION RETRIEVAL EQUIPMENT 30 D6 FURNISHINGS 29 D12 TRANSPORTATION 29 D13 EQUIPMENT FOR PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, OR TRANSFORMATION OF ENERGY 29 D9 PACKAGES AND CONTAINERS FOR GOODS 24 D24 MEDICAL AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 23 D23 ENVIRONMENTAL HEATING AND COOLING; FLUID HANDLING AND SANITARY EQUIPMENT 21 D7 EQUIPMENT FOR PREPARING OR SERVING FOOD OR DRINK NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED 18 D26 LIGHTING 18 D8 TOOLS AND HARDWARE 17 D21 GAMES, TOYS, AND SPORTS GOODS 11 D16 PHOTOGRAPHY AND OPTICAL EQUIPMENT 10 D15 MACHINES NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED
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 18 new plant patents, (1,072 so far this year).
Top States and Top Countries
Top States # Top Countries # California 811 Japan 1,142 Texas 224 South Korea 378 New York 206 Germany 364 Massachusetts 149 Taiwan 254 Michigan 133 China 159 New Jersey 133 United Kingdom 136 Illinois 125 France 134 Washington 119 Canada 113 Minnesota 108 Israel 89 Florida 104 India 66 Pennsylvania 104 Ohio 92 Total 2,308 Total 2,835 % US 71.6 % Foreign 84.2 % All 35.0 % All 43.1
Global IP Markets
This week patents with first–named inventors identified by countries outside of the US accounted for 3,366 patents or 51.1% of this week's patents.
Asian inventors continue to dominate the number of foreign first–named inventors receiving patents contributing 2,043 patents or 60.7%, of patents awarded to foreign grantees and 31.0% of the total granted this week. East and Southeast Asian first–named inventors received 1,976 including patents granted to Japan (1,142); Korea (378); Taiwan (254); China (159); Singapore (18); Hong Kong (15); Malaysia (9); and Thailand (1). India (66) and Pakistan (1) were responsible for the 67 patents from South Asia. Inventors in the Russian Federation received seventeen (17).
European inventors were granted 1,019 patents this week or 30.3% of all foreign patents granted and 15.5% of all patents this week. European Union countries received 957 patents. Non-EU countries received — Switzerland (47); Norway (9); Ukraine (3); Andorra (1); Liechtenstein (1).
Middle Eastern first–named inventors accounted for 102 patents led by Israel (89), followed by Saudi Arabia (8); Turkey (4); Kuwait (1).
North American patents accounted for 3,333 of the total patents granted this week. The count includes the 3,219 patents granted to US first–named inventors; and inventions awarded to Canada (113) and Mexico (1). North American inventors received 50.6% of all patents granted this week.
Central American and Caribbean based inventors no patents this week.
South American participation included eight (8): Brazil (5), followed by Chile (1); Colombia (1); Peru (1).
There were four (4) African grantees this week: South Africa (2), followed by Egypt (1); Kenya (1).
Oceania based inventors were granted 59 patents — Australia (54), followed by New Zealand (5).
(Way Better Patents™ organizes its Global Indicators based on the region designations assigned by the US CIA World Fact Book.)