Patents for Business Research: Patents by Industry

Intellectual property and patents by industry remain essential for our economy and in driving innovation and growth. In recent years, intellectual property has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy.

A recent study by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in regard to patents by industry showed that in 2014, intellectual property-focused sectors in the United States:

  • Directly employed over 23.7 million
  • Had over 81 of 313 industries as IP-intense
  • Contributed over $6.6 trillion in U.S. GDP
  • Supported an additional 17.6 million jobs

As time moves on, intellectual property is expected to continue to grow and take an increasingly important place in our economy. Not only do intellectual property-related industries support our domestic economy, but their products account for over half of our exports as well.

Intellectual property varies significantly by industry. Each industry, and even individual companies, will use patents as part of their business strategy in a unique configuration.

Big Data is Key to Disrupting the U.S. Patent Industry

The trend in patents in a sector is a big indicator of its future course.

For example, look at big data. Big data is a technique whereby predictions are made by the complex correlation and analysis of a large amount of information, some of it seemingly unrelated. While big data has floated into the public discourse due to its privacy implications, nonetheless it is much more than just that.

Big data is now allowing many companies to gain predictive insights and analytics across many different industries. It is worth noting that patents relating to data science are now coming from all kinds of different industries. Big data has now become well-developed and prevalent in a variety of different industries, which also leaves little room now for those seeking to jump in. Nonetheless, a lot of opportunity remains to build upon current data science techniques and methods.

Data science is still raising big questions about privacy, as well as how the data can be exchanged, stored, protected, and best used. Patents in big data may come from processes that analyze video, transactions, and other seemingly innocent information to determine relationships or indicate risk.

There also may be innovation and patents in big data particularly in the biomedical industry, as both biomedical technology advances and consequently the data available, as well as the data needed.

There may still be concerns and limits for those seeking to patent big data, however. In 2014, the Supreme Court decided that certain kinds of data science methods may not be patentable. Because of how transformative data science has become, the standard for it being patentable has also been raised. Data science software needs to be truly unique and product-creating in order to be considered patentable.

In looking at the data science market, there are constantly new needs and demand for data science in nearly every industry. If you are looking for a data science patent, there remains ample opportunity. Nonetheless, you need to be able to comply with the Supreme Court's "Alice" standards for uniqueness and distinctiveness.

One new service that is trying to connect patent users is the U.S. Patent Utility. The company attempts to connect creators with their potential customers.

By utilizing the USPTO's massive patent database, patent owners can find a way to sell their patent to users. Normally, inventors and users find each other only by lawsuits.

Where there are no lawsuits, it can still be difficult for patent owners to license their patents to potential users. Because of this systematic information mismatch, over 95 percent of patents never become licensed or reach the public, thus, leaving both the inventor without revenue from the patent and depriving customers of the invention.

Patent databases such as the utility service attempt to bridge this gap. By connecting patent creators with potential users, immense innovation and growth across many different industries will likely be pushed.

Some especially vital patents are key parts of certain growth industries. These patents usually face extensive lawsuits, as whoever controls the patent controls an immense income stream from its licensing and use.

When patents are not brought to market, the entire economy faces a potential of lost innovation and growth.

If you need help with filing your patent, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.