From search to download. That’s what Google and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have done with Wednesday’s announcement that bulk data on patents and trademarks are now available for free. Google is hosting hundreds of downloadable ZIP files at google.com/googlebooks/uspto.html; the patent office estimates that nearly ten terabytes of information is available.
Google and the patent office have a two-year, no-cost agreement in which the government provides the bulk patent and trademark data, and Google hosts it without modification. Prior to this agreement, bulk patent data was only available from the USPTO via a fee-based service.
In its announcement, Google explains that “all granted patents and trademarks, and published applications” are currently available, and that things like file histories and other data will be added later.
The patent office says it’s working on a permanent strategy for making this bulk data available via a contractor that’s yet to be named. It seems that Google will have a leg up on that process already.