Jun 15, 2015

Patent Ownership Information > Finally a Solution to Assignee/Player Cleaning & Normalizing > ORoPO (Open Register of Patent Ownership)

Patent ownership information is the trickiest part for any analyst, be it a patent landscape or a portfolio analysis. Not only do subsidiaries, group companies, sister concerns need to be checked, but also spelling differences, and even translation errors.

While 'Assignee Cleaning' / 'Assignee Normalization' is a usual practice for tackling this problem, we may not have this issue in future at all.

Enter ORoPO (Open Register of Patent Ownership), a global database of who owns which patents.
ORoPO is open for all, free of cost and voluntary for a company to upload their patents.

“Analysing a company’s patent portfolio is so fraught with difficulty, you can’t really trust the data. You don’t know what company name patent rights are registered under, whether companies have changed names, whether a subsidiary has been sold off or new divisions have been purchased, or whether patent ownership data has been updated after a sale. It’s a very uncertain area.” ROGER BURT, CEO, ORoPO
“ The laws that govern patent ownership recordation were set out a long, long, long time ago before this information really did need to be updated as much as it does now. The stakes weren’t as high as they are now, and there weren’t as many different vehicles for moving and leveraging things like intangible assets as there are now.” DAVID KAPPOS, CRAVATH FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Ealiest adopters of ORoPO are IBM, Microsoft, ARM, BAE Systems, Shazam, Patent Properties, Conversant, and Finjan.

It has clear guidelines for companies to upload their patent set and a clear request to update the set every three months (ORoPO will send Email reminders!)

I am eagerly waiting for this to become a standard data source with all companies chipping in and doing their bit for ensuring visibility in the licensing marketplace.

“ Inaccurate data in the system certainly does hurt patent owners, because those patent owners’ transactions will not occur as efficiently as they otherwise might. Completing transactions takes longer and is more costly. Inaccurate ownership data is sand in the gears, sand that doesn’t really need to be there.” MANNY SCHECTER, CHIEF PATENT COUNSEL, IBM

With patent data becoming so accessible and clean, patent research firms need to think of other ways to keep on adding value.

Meanwhile, check the report ORoPO have prepared on the inaccuracies of the patent data and the need to make a reform in it.