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The Latest from Way Better Patents™

Fracking Fluid

Fracking schematic
What's really in that fluid?

The Obama Administration released its new regulations on fracking. Five minutes later, industry groups filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the regulations. According to the Wall Street Journal, "In a move that upset environmental groups, the new rules require companies to publicly disclose chemicals they use through an industry-run website called FracFocus within 30 days of completing the fracking process." We're not sure why the environmental groups are upset, we're guessing because the site is run by an industry group. (Isn't it better for the taxpayer for the industry to pay for this, but we digress…) We thought this would be a good time to drag out two articles written two years ago that highlight what's in fracking fluid and the contents common use around the house.

Fracking Fluid #1 →   Fracking Fluid #2 →

Mar 21 2015

Showers & Infringement?

Water Drop
EPA is monitoring your shower and might be infringing your patent.

EPA recently announced it is deeply troubled that we might be spending too much time in the shower when we travel. EPA wants technology to help "modify traveler behavior". EPA and the University of Tulsa and its investigators might have to modify their own behavior where patented inventions are concerned. EPA, University of Tulsa and its three student investigators apparently don't read patents.

Read More →

Mar 19 2015

The CPC @ 95.8%

CPC Chart
So Close. 100% is Coming Soon.

This week USPTO granted 6,998 utility, design, and plant patents representing the work of 18,974 named inventors. Of the 6,458 utility patents, 95.8% had CPC classification data. This is the largest single-week increase in the percentage of utility patents with the new classification symbols since September 16, 2014. Major changes to the display of classification information on patents, published applications, and the Official Gazette are set to begin on April 7, 2015. For more information see the documents linked here.

The Box Scores →

Mar 17 2015

The Flow of Invention

Sankey Chart Icon
The flow of invention and innovation coming soon.

One of the compelling issues in the quest to understand the innovation economy is understanding where innovation comes from and how it moves from place to place. Patents are one of the best way to see what innovations are coming soon. Visualizations in the age of big data help reveal the nuances of what is going on, who is working with whom, and where it's happening. Today we add a new look at the flow of invention and scientific dispersion in the information economy.

Start Here →   Go Straight to the Charts →

Mar 11 2015

Nanomedicine from Mines in Colorado

nanoparticle image
Mining and Medicine Converge.

When looking at life science and pharma inventions, and their patent cohorts, Drug, Bio-Affecting and Body Treating Compositions, the inventors and patent owners from research universities, post-doc institutes, and big and more likely start-up pharma are the usual places to start your hunt.

This week we ignored Captain Renault's advice to "round up the usual suspects" and found 8,968,705 an invention in the nanomedicine space from The Colorado School of Mines (Mines) — gold/lanthanide nanoparticles for use in targeting, treating, and/or imaging disease states in a patient. You read that correctly, The Colorado School of Mines, the folks who focus on Earth, Energy, Environment. The university focused on engineering and applied science in the geoscience arena adds a new contribution to the spectrum of inventions in the nanomedicine space.

Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology (the engineering of tiny machines) to the prevention and treatment of disease in the human body. In medicine, most interest is in the use of nanoparticles to enhance drug delivery with interest also in in vitro diagnostics, novel biomaterial design, bioimaging, therapies and active implants.

Innovation Coming Soon in Colorado →  

Mar 5 2015

Global Patent Snapshot

Business is global.  Innovation is local.
It's a small world after all.

This week patents with first–named inventors identified by countries outside of the US accounted for 3,877 patents or 51.7% of this week's patents.

Asian inventors receiving patents contributed 2,343 patents or 60.4%, of patents awarded to foreign grantees and 31.3% of the total granted this week. European inventors were granted 1,173 patents this week or 30.3% of all foreign patents granted and 15.7% of all patents this week. North American patents accounted for 3,800 of the total patents granted this week. The count includes the 3,618 patents granted to US first–named inventors; and inventions awarded to Canada (176) and Mexico (6). North American inventors received 50.7% of all patents granted this week.

(Way Better Patents™ organizes its Global Indicators based on the region designations assigned by the US CIA World Fact Book.)

The Scorecards →  

Feb 24 2015

Digtal Cartography of Innovation

From the Map Room
US map showing patent concentrations.
If you want to map innovation, map inventors.

Way Better Patents' Coming Soon™ Map Room contains a wealth of geographic information on the spatial distribution and topology of US patented inventions. Each week Way Better Patents publishes US and State heat maps and collaboration maps including:

  1. Weekly Inventor and Assignee Heat Maps
  2. Yearly Inventor and Assignee Maps
  3. Weekly Inventor and Assignee Collaboration Maps

Business may be global, but innovation is local. See where invention is happening.

Make sure to scroll down to see the State weekly and year to date maps.

Visit the Map Room →   About the Maps →

Feb 18 2015

The Health Complex

Public Science
Up next in the Health Complex patentsphere — synthetic biology, precision medicine, and biobricks.

One way to measure the return on investment for taxpayer funded R&D is to look at patents. There is considerable debate on how taxpayer funding and policies on drug development, pricing, and access interplay. Since pharma and biotech don't make a move without a patent, keeping an eye on how many patents are publicly funded in one way or the other is an important element to add to the discourse. Today we thought we'd show you the number of patents with taxpayer funding in the Health Complex. It's an impressive number.

The 2014 Count →

Feb 9 2015

Scientific Presence Profiles

A Holistic Look at Invention
US Map
Patents, Top IP companies, Demographics, R&D spending, FFRDCs, Federal Labs, University R&D spending and research focus and more.

Scientific presence takes a holistic look at science and technology activity — an amalgam of demographic information about the population of scientists, engineers, and technologists in a geographic area, the amount of R&D money flowing into an area, who is providing it and what type of science is being funded all assembled into one comprehensive profile.

Explore →


3 Weeks & 1,347 Corrections

Patents Are Property Too
The Scream
My head is exploding. How many times can I say this is statutory.

As of today, three weeks into the new year, USPTO has made 1,347 corrections this year. Last year USPTO racked up 24,843 corrections. In 2013 it was 23,654. That means that in the last two years USPTO had to make administrative changes to 48,497 patents. USPTO is about 160 corrections away from hitting 50,000 corrections since January 2013. It's time to support USPTO so they have the tools to improve the quality of their data.

Would the local Register of Deeds put up with this volume of corrections? Patents are property deeds too.

Read More →


A Green Anniversary

Faster Clean Tech
LED light bulb
The new look of innovation.

December 2014 marked the fifth anniversary of USPTO's Green Technology Pilot Program. USPTO granted 2,459 patents, seventy percent (70%) of the applications accepted by the program have now been granted.Way Better Patents analyzed the first 836 patents grantedunder the program. On the five year anniversary, we thought it was a good time to take another look at the outcomes of the program. This is a first of a series of posts that look at the program and explore the science, technology and IP policy issues it involves.

Read More →


Winter Reading

kindle image
Time to hunker down with a good book. Pixels or Paper?

It's winter and time for reading. Here's what we've been reading. Three are on innovators — the digital revolution's luminaries; a fighter pilot and strategist, and the guys who figured out high frequency trading. One deals with the impact of property rights on American cities. We were intrigued given our look at patents and economic growth. The fifth is a crash course on the impact bioengineering, the biobrick and things sure to challenge the notion of what is a naturally occuring phenomena. Finally one about inventions thatdidn'tchange the world. We weren't sure about this one but it turned out to be an interesting look at inventions from the 19th century culled from the British Archives. This one starts out with a bit of deja vu:

By the first half of the nineteenth century the patent system had become hopelessly expensive and inefficient, giving rise to a vociferous reform movement…
Sound familiar?

They are some fascinating reads for the IP enthusiasts and innovation gurus among us. We hope you enjoy them.

Read More (It's Winter) →

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