Global IP Strategy – can you keep up?

US patent no. 1 (traction wheels for locomotives) was published on 13 July 1836. US patent number 2 (method of manufacturing wool) was published 16 days later on 29 July 1836.

So, when the USPTO got going, it was publishing a patent every 16 days.

5787 US patent applications published on 11 October 2007 – that’s 4 per minute (for the full 24 hours), or a rate 92,592 times more often than 171 years ago.

Things have certainly changed a great deal in the IP space since 1836. However, it’s only been in the past 5 or so years (maybe 10 in some cases) that dramatic changes have started to happen in the IP strategy space.

This is only the start of much bigger things to come.

Here are a few examples of dramatic and relatively recent changes in IP strategy – what would you add?

2 Comments on “Global IP Strategy – can you keep up?

  1. Just to be a pedantic patent info geek: US applications are only published once a week, so technically that’s one patent application every 1.74 minutes.  Also you are measuring the rate at which the USPTO issues patents, with the rate at which they receive and publish applications.
    Nevertheless you are right, things have changed, and I bet the quality of those first two patents and the deservedness of the monoploy granted is so much higher than for the patents issued by the USPTO today on average.
    Other significant changes are the availability of patent information online.  When I first started searching, patent images were not around, you had to find the patent in the British Library and, if it was more than 20 years old, you had to look in the vaults.  Now even the oldest patents are digitally stored for most countries and are available at the click of a button (except ahem..  Australian ones)
    One thing that definitely hasn’t changed though, is the need for someone who is an expert in the field to refine those millions of patents down to the ones that are relevant to your particular project…a patent searcher!

  2. Great comments Leighton and point(s) taken.Even in the past 2-3 years there have been enormous changes in availability of patent information online.I can only echo your comments about patent searchers and can say that good ones add incredible value.

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