{"API Evangelist"}

Finished Processing 973 API Related Patents From 2013

I’m slowly processing XML files of patents from the US Patent Office. You can read the origin of my journey here, but as of today, I finished processing 50 files of patent applications for 2013, adding 973 API related patents to the queue. I’m still making sense of the different types of patents, and whether they are specifically for APIs, more API adjacent, or just mention API as one component in the patent definition.

I figure I’ll go back to about 1990-1995, but not 100% sure at this point. So far I’ve identified 105 patent applications from 2015, 322 from 2014, and now 973 from 2013. I’m still reading the title and abstract of each patent application as they come in, building my understanding of what has been submitted, and the possible motivations behind each application.

Here are the current numbers that I have so far.

There are 6 patents so far that mention application programming interface or API directly in the title of the patent:

There are 54 patents that mention application programming interface or API directly in the abstract of the patent:

With the other other 1231 mentioning application programming interface or API in the description of the patent. It will take time to understand the scope of role APIs play when APIs are just a metnion in the description, where patents that directly mention in title, and abstract, carry a little more weight. (at least for now)

Another interesting layer so far, were the companies behind the last 2 years of API related patent activity. Here are the top 25 from the list so far.

I’m still learning, understanding, and making sense of these API related patents I’m mining. I will work to read, and separate out the hardware related APIs, but only slightly off to the side, as I still think hardware APIs are extremely relevant with the latest IoT evolution. During the process, I’m sure I’ll come up with other buckets to put APIs into, but ultimately looking to understand the role that APIs are playing in the patent game.

I suspect that downloading the last 20+ years of patents, processing them looking for the phrases “application programming interface”, or the acronym API, is just the beginning. As I read through the patents, learn about the ideas, people, and companies behind them, I’m sure my understanding will expand greatly. I’ll check in with more data after each import of files, and discovery of any new insights, and as always, you can find my patent API research repository on Github.