Microsoft and IBM Launch Open Patent Database

June 18, 2015 — Technology companies, Microsoft and IBM, have launched ORoPO, an Open Register of Patent Ownership. ORoPO is voluntary and not-for-profit and is designed to be a global database of patents. 

ORoPO launched on June 15 with the idea that globally, current records on patents at intellectual property offices are often inaccurate and there is the need for greater transparency around patent ownership. All of the data uploaded into ORoPO is free of IP restrictions and is available to the public as open data.

“OROPO is a simple solution to a complex and longstanding 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.”…Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel, IBM.

The database allows patent owners to update patent information for free and the initiative is backed by defence and aerospace company, BAE Systems and app maker, Shazam.  BAE Systems, Conversant, Finjan, IBM, Microsoft, Patent Properties and Shazam have already committed to listing their patent portfolios on ORoPo and they will play a role in running the project under the leadership of ORoPO’s CEO Roger Burt. Roger was previously the head of IBM’s intellectual property operations in Europe and is the current Immediate Past President of the UK Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

“Microsoft believes that patent ownership transparency continues to be an important part of a well-functioning patent system.”…Erich Andersen, Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft.

Some of the advisory board members of ORoPO include the former director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos as wel as the co-founder of the Open Data Institute, Sir Nigel Shadbolt.


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About Bob Aroture 559 Articles
Bob is a Senior Editor and Content Development Manager at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch. He holds a BS degree, with a major in biochemistry. He works directly with the Newsroom Team. His focus areas are technology and innovation, and pharmaceutical technology. Email: