Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source RepRap 3-D printing and recyclebot recycling.
- Yuenyong Nilsiam and Joshua M. Pearce. Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain. Inventions 1(4), 24 (2016); doi: 10.3390/inventions1040024 Open access
- Direct link to search: http://freeip.mtu.edu/
- How to use video 
Although theoretically the patent system is meant to bolster innovation, the current United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is cumbersome and involves a significant time investment to locate inactive patents less than 20 years old. This article reports on the development of an open source database to find these public domain ideas. First, a search strategy is explained. Then the operation and use of free and open source software are detailed to meet the needs of open hardware innovators. Finally, a case study is presented to demonstrate the utility of the approach with 3-D printing. The results showed how the Free Inactive Patent Search enables users to search using plain language text to find public domain concepts and then provides a hyperlinked list of ideas that takes users to the USPTO database for the patent for more information. All of the source code to operate the search and the website are open source themselves and provided in the public domain for free. In the case study on 3-D printing the time to identify public domain patents was cut by a factor of more than 1500. This tool has the potential for accelerating the development of open hardware technologies to create high value for the public.
- Inactive Patents: Innovate More, Search Less- MTU News, Newswise, Eureka Alert, Science Magazine,World News, Bio Science Technology, Lab Manager Magazine, Hi Tech Days, Bio Portfolio, Innovation America, Science Daily, Compamed Magazine
- New search tool for inactive patents- Phys.org, Science Bulletin, ECN Magazine
- Inactive Patents, Internet for Schools, Google Translate, More: Wednesday Buzz, November 16, 2016- Research Buzz
- No pierda tiempo: las patentes inactivas lo pueden iluminar para una nueva investigación - e-Duque
- A way to easily discover and track inactive patents - Innovation Toronto
- Accelerating Innovation: Michigan Tech patent database/app promotes open-source hardware -- Daily Mining Gazette