By Donald Zuhn --
In January, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced the addition of several new features to its patent data visualization and analysis tool, PatentsView, which allows the public to interactively engage, through a web-based platform, with a database connecting 40 years of information about inventors, their organizations, and their locations.
The revised PatentsView interface presents three new starting points for users: relationships, locations, and comparisons. The relationships starting point allows users to take a look at the relationships behind the 100 most cited patents granted since 2001. Users can explore the network of inventors and assignees on those patents. For example, the relationships visualization below (click to enlarge) shows that Californians invented 44 of the top 100 most cited U.S. patents granted since 2001, including, for example, TiVo's patent for a multimedia time warping system.
The locations starting point allows users to explore the locations where inventors and assignees have been granted patents since 2012, by providing an interactive worldwide map of the cities where innovation originates. For example, the locations visualization below shows the patents, inventors, and assignees for the regional innovation hub of Atlanta.
Finally, the comparisons starting point allows users to compare the patterns in innovation across various locations and technology areas since 1976. For example, the comparison visualization below shows that over the past two decades there have been more inventors on patents for computer hardware, data processing, and information storage technology than in any other technical field.
The Office notes that from the above starting points, users can further explore comprehensive detail views for each patent, inventor, firm, and location. The collaborative tool was developed by the USPTO's Office of the Chief Economist in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley, Twin Arch Technologies, and Periscopic.