[Discuss] Free Inactive Patent Search

Joshua joshua.m.pearce at gmail.com
Wed Nov 16 16:36:23 UTC 2016

Hi All

In an attempt to make patents even marginally useful we have just created
an open source free inactive patent search
<http://freeip.mtu.edu/home/index.php>. Roughly 1/2 of US patents become
inactive before the 20 year mark because owners don't pay fees on time.To
find patents that have merely expired you can simply set your search terms
to look for patents that are 20 years old or older at the USPTO or Google
Patents. However, finding a list of inactive patents is far more
challenging. Our website overcomes that challenge as it allows you to
search through all inactive patents in the U.S. that are less than 20 years
old. We created this database to help drive open source hardware
development. Our previous work has found that patents should be
significantly weakened
<https://www.academia.edu/11677580/The_Case_for_Weaker_Patents> as they are
actively retarding innovation and technical progress. By properly valuing
open hardware development
is clear that the return on investment for OSH development is enormous
In addition, proactive measures to defend the public domain
also provide more safe space for innovators to operate. Our hope is that
this database accelerates your open hardware development. So hopefully this
will help you keep it up!
The database: http://freeip.mtu.edu/
The source code: https://github.com/mtu-most/patent-database

For more information please see the article published in *Inventions *
(2016): Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to
Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain
doi: 10.3390/inventions1040024
All the best,

Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Michigan Technological University
601 M&M Building
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs
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