Open Register of Patent Ownership launched

Monday, June 15th, 2015 
ORoPO logo

IBM, Microsoft, ARM, BAE Systems, Shazam, Patent Properties, Conversant, and Finjan Back ORoPO – the Open Register of Patent Ownership Launched Today

LONDON — A group of leaders in Intellectual Property and Open Data has today launched ORoPO, the world’s first Open Register of Patent Ownership. Voluntary, non-profit and freely accessible online, ORoPO offers a simple solution to significant problems with the accuracy of current patent ownership records, and already includes details of patents owned by its founder members.

Led by CEO Roger Burt, ORoPO is supported by an Advisory Board including David Kappos (Cravath, Swaine & Moore and former director at the USPTO), Sir Robin Jacob (UCL and former IP judge), Sir Nigel Shadbolt (co-founder of the Open Data Institute), Tony Clayton (formerly Chief Economist of the UK IPO) and Heather Meeker (O’Melveny & Myers).

Commenting on the launch, Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel, IBM said: “ORoPO is a simple solution to a complex and long standing problem. Greater transparency around patent ownership is vital to eliminating transactional inefficiencies and enabling a patent system that runs optimally for every constituent in the system; from patent owners to innovators, licensees and the public.”

Erich Andersen, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, commented: “Microsoft believes that patent ownership transparency continues to be an important part of a well-functioning patent system. Microsoft has publicly listed all the patents the company owns since March 2013, and we will continue to do so via our participation in ORoPO. This voluntary effort, led by top patenting companies, will help to ensure that the patent system continues to promote and encourage innovation across our economy.”

At present, information as to who owns the world’s patents is recorded at 180 patent offices worldwide. However, through a combination of factors it is estimated that 25% of this information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. This inaccuracy has serious consequences for the exploitation of the intellectual property assets that now account for up to 70% of enterprise value.

The issues, challenges and possible solutions are explored further in Who Owns the World’s Patents? Why patent ownership data accuracy is a problem worth solving, a report sponsored by Aistemos which accompanies the launch of ORoPO.