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CRIE : McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship : Eller College of Management : The University of Arizona
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Commercialization Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Welcome to the Patent Data Repository!



We need an eye on data, analysis, and economic-based thinking; precise measures in economics have largely been absent in the decision-making process; we have a veritable treasure trove of data and we, as a community, need to do a better job sharing this information; we need to get a firm grasp on the data; it is urgent that we make the data more publicly accessible; it is imperative that we seek a data-driven understanding of innovation.


United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos
Keynote Address on November 16, 2011 at Patent Statistics for Decision Makers Conference




Frequently Asked Questions

What is CRIE?

Commercialization Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CRIE) organizes data for academics to do better research. CRIE seeks to make data available in both contiguous and relational form. The primary data asset of CRIE is the U.S. Patent Data.

What is contiguous patent data?

Every Tuesday, new patents are announced and released. At CRIE, our goal is to make that data available for academic consumption as soon as possible thereafter. We have engineered processes to include new data into the database. We anticipate performing data updates at least monthly.

What is relational patent data?

Typically, academics need a flat data file to do statistical analyses. However, the nature of patent data is inherently relational. One patent generally has more than one inventor, classification, backward citations, claims, etc.

The concept of the relational database was born in 1970 when E.F. Codd, a researcher at IBM, wrote a paper1 outlining the process of organizing data based on its relationships (entity-relational model). Today, relational database design (RDD) is the de facto standard to organize and query data.


1. Codd, E.F. (1970). "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks". Communications of the ACM 13 (6): 377—387. (PDF)

How do I query relational data?

The patent data has been relationalized. To query the data base, we have implemented a structured query language, specifically PostgreSQL. The limitation for doing research will no longer be the data, but your ability to query the data. With this in mind, we offer sample queries, a wizard for the fee-based subscriptions, and fixed-cost, query-support services where a database engineer can help you build your query.

Why should this patent data interest me?

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Patents represent one of the least understood intangible firms a firm possesses. These intangible resources are at the disposal of the firm to determine1 its product offerings (Penrose 1959).

Generally, CRIE represents an open-science paradigm. The goal is to make patent data more readily accessible for academic consumption. Any data normalization of existing data or the creation of new data will be available for public scrutiny and refinement. Since patent data is inherently noisy, and by definition represents extreme or rare2 occurrences, it is imperative that we attempt to remove as much systematic error as possible before doing academic analyses. For better academic research on innovation and entrepreneurship, we need better data.


1. Penrose, Edith G. 1959. The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. New York, NY: Wiley.

2. Trajtenberg, Manuel. 1990. Economic Analysis of Product Innovation: The Case of CT Scanners. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

How much does CRIE cost?

CRIE will always have a free version. The free version will allow you to query the database with some reasonable limitations based on our limited computing resources. In general, once you execute a query, it will be placed in a queue and returned to you within 5-10 days.

Are there fee-based services?

CRIE will always have a free version. Certain data may be available to subscription clients. For example, OLDER patents have limited data in machine-readable format. This original machine-readable information is available for free through CRIE.

We have partnered with an industry leader, Mergent, to convert the images of OLDER patents to text using sophisticated OCR (optical character recognition) algorithms. Clients that have purchased Mergent Patent Archives will not only have access to the prescribed Mergent service but additionally these new data fields will also be available to them within the CRIE system. Below describes a few benefits of this membership with this industry partner.

Free Service Mergent Patent Archives Members
Result set 50,000 records 250,000 records
~ Queue time 24 hours 15 minutes
Queue priority Economic Highest
Queue runs Every hour Every 5 minutes
Result time Few days Few hours
OCR tables 1 NO YES
Smart portfolios 2 NO YES

1. Patent Archive members can query the metadata extracted from the OCR process and include in a panel download.

2. Patent Archive members can utilize the CRIE wizard to build smart portfolios (patents to firms) based on different methodologies developed.

How can I help?

The success of CRIE depends on its adoption by academics. Tell your friends. Create an account. Use the system. Provide feedback on what you like, what other data you would like to see, and how we can improve. Your feedback is essential for CRIE's success and ultimately better academic research using patent data.

Making U.S. Patent data more readily accessible for academic consumption

For additional information, please contact us.

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