When it comes to understanding the currents assignee(s) of a patent, it is crucial to have the broadest and most comprehensive official patent data possible.

Current Assignees Matter

In the world of patents today, knowing exactly who the “current assignee” is certainly does matter, since this is the person or the company who has been transferred the rights of ownership of a patent, and, therefore, has the power to sue for infringement or to sell or license the patent.

Knowing the current assignee can also be important in other scenarios, including:

  • Competitive Intelligence and Benchmarking — gaining a better understanding of the marketplace and knowing exactly who has which patents and how they are being used;
  • Patent Clearance — knowing what others are doing in the field and identifying risk;
  • Patent Landscaping — identifying which person or company is the top player in the field.

Scattered Data

Unfortunately, understanding the current assignee of a patent has not always been quick or easy.

The reason for this can be traced back to the fact that patent data is often scattered across the world in the different databases of the major patent offices.

To make matters worse, many of these offices do not often update or include current assignee data. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for example, does publish patent information and share it with the public, but this has not traditionally included current assignee data.

Perhaps, as a result, the USPTO has recently begun another database for transactions and assignments.

In other major countries, including the EU, Japan, and China, current assignee information varies from place to place, with some offices updating this data more frequently than others.

A Comprehensive Approach to Patent Data

Obviously, with such scattered patent data, one of the most important first steps is to consolidate the data from all of the major patent offices together.

This ensures that no major markets are missed when it comes to the current assignee of a patent.

At the same time, it is also important to make sure that this patent data has been obtained directly from official, authoritative sources, such as the USPTO.

In fact, it is this broad, comprehensive approach that is the first key to the most accurate current assignee data.

While many patent intelligence vendors tout their current assignee data, the table below shows how most actually approach this:

Data Source Vendor A Vendor B Vendor C Patentcloud

Data source comparison between Patentcloud and the other major vendors.

In the global economy of today, with more and more transnational companies, the importance of understanding a patent across different global patent offices cannot be overstated.

So, the vendors with the most comprehensive global patent data — like Patentcloudcan provide the patent assignment data and the current assignee information that is most accurate.

Capabilities: The Other Key to Current Assignee Accuracy

In addition to obtaining patent data directly from official sources, it is also crucial to have the capabilities to interpret and handle this data. This includes the language and cultural skills to manage and process data in a variety of languages, such as Chinese or Japanese.

Most patent intelligence vendors, for example, seem to stick with data from patent offices that are “closer” to them, with Western vendors focusing on the USPTO and Europe and Asian vendors focusing on data from the China or Japan patent offices.

It is only Patentcloud, however, that has the capability to handle patent data in different languages, from the USPTO and the EU to China and Japan. This has been done by design, with a strategic decision to develop the algorithms and cross-language standardization to process patent data in a variety of different languages.

In addition to language-related issues, misspellings and inconsistencies in naming do occur as well. To solve this problem, Patentcloud standardizes the assignee’s alternative spellings or name arrangements under a unique field.

This approach makes patent search much easier as it enables users to identify and group documents together that are owned by the same assignee without the need to manually input all the alternative spellings.

Without these capabilities, can users really be sure they are really getting the most accurate current assignee data from vendors?

patentcloud patent search standard assignee

Corporate Affiliation

Another important element in understanding the current assignee of a patent is knowing the absolute parent company of any current assignee.

This is why a feature like Patentcloud’s Corporate Affiliation Search is so useful since it brings together and lists all the entities under the same group, enabling users to deal with the issue of subsidiaries by accessing a hierarchical representation of the group’s structure.

search corporate affiliation patent search patentcloud

The Search Corporate Affiliation feature in Patent Search.

Better Data for Better Decisions

When it comes to patent intelligence, current assignee data certainly has its place. Especially for those who want to keep current on certain fields or technology, current assignee data can serve an important function.

So, it seems only right that this data should be as accurate as possible, coming from the widest range of official, authoritative sources and managed in a variety of languages.

After all, good decision-making depends on good information, and the better this information is, the better the chance that the best decisions will be made.