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Internet access to patent data

[*Updated 11/4/2015 to include new Google Patents announcement]

... the USPTO has been in the business of open data for a very long time. ... If we are going to live up to our mission to disseminate information about patents and trademarks, it requires an agency-wide commitment to the principles of open data—a commitment that the USPTO has made.
— Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO (April 2015)