Download Patent, Trademark Data

NLM computer room in 1969For anything you may like or not like about Google, we have to stipulate that the company has an amazing search functionality.  You may hate Gmail or Google Docs or Maps, but the search engine is great at chewing through huge blocks of data.

Now the company has announced that anyone can download patent and trademark data from Google.  This is the latest in a series of initiatives Google has taken in the public sector, and the scope of this project is somewhat staggering.   Google is making 10 terabytes of information available for download to open the program.

Let’s size up that whole terabyte thing.

You know the disk drive you’re proud of with all your music and photos?  The 200 gigabyte drive?    If you downloaded everything, you would need 50 of them.

Perhaps most puzzling about this partnership is the statement made by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  ”The USPTO does not currently have the technical capability to provide this public information in a bulk machine readable format that is desired by the intellectual property (IP) community,” the agency wrote in a statement yesterday.

That’s kind of interesting.  I know federal technology is iffy at best and when I’ve been exposed first-hand to agency initiatives I’ve longed for a communicator with Scotty on the other side, ready to beam me to the current decade.  But the USPTO can’t technically handle making its database public in a bulk format?  Maybe this kind of data failure is why Super SEO Rhea Drysdale had to spend $17,000 of her own money to block a trademark application for the term SEO.   And maybe that’s why psuedo agencies like the USPS have FexEx boxes out front and much of Europe and Japan enjoys high speed rail while we plod along on Amtrak when it’s available in that market.

So Google continues cozying up to federal agencies and your takeaway as a small business is that there are likely plenty of opportunities for you in the federal sector.  Start your research at the Small Business Administration’s federal contracting pages.  Sometimes you just have to ask.

And fill out a lot of paperwork.  That paperwork thing isn’t going away any time soon.

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