Should Email and Website Links be added to the USPTO Website?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office patent search engine is a great resource for anyone developing or utilizing technology. However, there is a serious problem with the USPTO patent search database. Contact information for inventors and patent assignees often becomes out of date after a patent has been issued, so it is difficult to contact inventors if you want to work with them. If manufacturers seeking patented technology are unable to reach the patent owner or inventor, then patents act as a barrier to commercialization of the technology they protect.

This problem could be alleviated by including optional email addresses of the inventors in the patent search database. Inventors (and/or patent owners) could update their email addresses on the Internet if they change. An email address option will also provide an alternative contact option for inventors with private mailing addresses.

The patent search database should also be updated to include an optional website address where the patent owner can provide relevant business and technical information regarding the invention as well as product demonstration photos and videos. Websites can provide information to potential licensees that can be updated easily by the inventor, thereby improving the likelihood for successful commercialization of the invention. Website information and contact information will also facilitate collaboration between inventors, thereby increasing the rate at which technologies evolve.

By adding email and website addresses of inventors to the online patent database, communication with inventors will be enhanced, and by speeding up the communication that takes place between inventors and industry, technology can develop more rapidly and cost effectively.

Paul Berman, President
T2 Design & Prototype


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