As part of our IP services we generate unique business insight from IP data, enabling customers to make better business decisions and target specific areas for innovation. It is obviously therefore critically important that the patent database we use to leverage this insight is populated with reliable, verified information.

The patent database

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) believes that 25% of the patent data available on public registers is inaccurate. This can be caused by something as simple as a mis-spelling on a patent application. During the lifetime of a patent, ownership can change hands or companies change names, causing further confusion.

Inaccuracies in patent ownership have significant consequences, causing increased risk, cost and uncertainty that creates barriers to innovation. With intellectual property making up as much as 70% of a company’s value, inaccurate information can fundamentally impact on the core asset value of a business.

What is the ORoPO initiative?

To counteract the effect of unreliable data, we are now actively supporting the Open Register of Patent Ownership (ORoPO) – a non-profit organisation that aims to create a global database of patent ownership that is verified by the companies that own the intellectual property.

Established in 2015 with the support of companies including IBM, Microsoft and ARM, ORoPO aims to directly address the issue of non-verified data. It encourages companies to publish details of IP ownership to ORoPO’s global register of patents and update this in line with changes in ownership. The ORoPO initiative will make a significant contribution to transparency of patent information.

How can we support ORoPO?

By actively publicising the initiative to our large customer base, we will encourage customers to submit their patent data for verification. We are also planning a number of joint webinars with ORoPO, Microsoft and IBM to improve knowledge of the initiative amongst our community of IP professionals and to share the benefits – of which there are many.

ORoPO is a practical solution for a fundamental issue - improving the accuracy and accessibility of data around patent ownership. With improved transparency the marketplace will work more effectively, allowing innovators to make smarter investments, create jobs, and drive economic growth.

Greater transparency around ownership will not only improve the reliability of IP insight, it has the potential to benefit economies on a global scale. With an increased awareness of technologies, there will be more opportunities for licensing across borders. A clearer indication of who owns what will also drive a better idea of which businesses should collaborate. ORoPO believes that this could stimulate $300 billion in untapped economic value – making the initiative potentially one of the most simple but effective ways to grow the global economy.

Learn more about ORoPO here.