The Patent and Trademark Office announced Wednesday it has reached a two-year "no-cost" agreement with Google to make patent and trademark data electronically available for free to the public in bulk form.
Saying it lacks the technical capacity to offer such a service, PTO said the two-year agreement with Google is a temporary solution while the agency seeks a contractor to build a database that would allow the public to access such information in electronic machine-readable bulk form.
PTO Director David Kappos said in a statement that the move is part of the agency's efforts to comply with President Obama's open government initiative by "making valuable public patent and trademark information more widely available in a bulk form so companies and researchers can download it for analysis and research."
Some of the information that will be available on the Google-operated site includes patent grants and published applications; trademark applications; trademark trial and appeal board proceedings; patent classification information; patent maintenance fee information; and patent and trademark assignments.
Up until now, the PTO provided such data only in bulk form for a fee.