Visualizing U.S. Patents
Trea is an exploration and visualization service that uses the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) patent data. The service, which launched last week, pulls every patent document and accompanying image from the USPTO’s database (all of which are open data) and lets users visualize trends in various research fields, breakdowns showing different companies’ areas of research, and collaborations among inventors, among other functions. Trea also includes feature that allows inventors to secretly and securely submit diagrams and ideas for patents, which the inventor alone can later access—when defending against a future lawsuit, for example—to indicate exactly when they came up with their idea. Although the USPTO is not involved in the project, Trea’s creators says they have been supportive of his efforts.