PatentsView is a “data visualization and analysis platform intended to increase the value, utility, and transparency of US patent data.” It allows users to interact with 40 years of data. The platform grew out of an initiative by the Chief Economist at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in partnership with the Center for the Science of Science and Innovation Policy at the American Institutes for Research, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley, Twin Arch Technologies, Periscopic, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

PatentsView has several underlying goals: to democratize patent data, to reduce redundancy, to facilitate linking, and to improve data quality. A high priority is “data disambiguation,” that is, solving the ambiguity that results when one inventor or organization uses different names or the same name is shared by different inventors or organizations. The patent database, for example, includes no fewer than five different inventors names associated with one and the same Steve Jobs. Similarly, there are 15 distinct organization names associated with Google that can be disambiguated into one entity.

By making better-quality and more patent data public and open in one central location, PatentsView is intended to save time and money by “eliminating the wasteful and redundant cleaning, converting and matching of these data by many individual researchers.”