The Patents of Italian Public Research Institutes

The PATIRIS platform’s database aims to establish itself as a permanent patenting overseer for universities and public research institutes in Italy (PRIs). The new service, developed by the Direzione Generale per la Tutela della Proprietà Industriale – Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi in collaboration with Netval, the Network for the valorisation of Research, includes restructuring and evolving the original PATIRIS platform, first created in 2013 in collaboration with the Università di Bologna.

Based on the Open Patent Services (OPS) data source provided by the European Patent Office (EPO), the new platform allows easy access to information relating to patents filed by 119 national research bodies since 1950. Through its own search tool, it enables user to use different search criteria simultaneously.


PATIRIS provides data and information based on the “patent families” generated by the Italian public research.


The use of patent data to measure the innovative activity of said innovations requires precise indications in order to correctly identify and characterize inventions rather than documents. In the absence of these precautions, there may be significant distortions within the database considered. For this reason, rather than focusing its attention on individual patent documents, Patiris supplies instruments able to analyse clusters of pending / granted patent applications (in various countries and at different moments in time) relating to a common invention. These groups of documents are defined as 'patent families'.

In Patiris, the patent data illustrated through dynamic reports allows to better understand:

  • The overall patent performance over time and the main trends;
  • The patent’s positioning with respect to technological and geographical areas;
  • The positioning of research institutes with respect to technological and geographical areas;


The new platform also provides an additional service: graphs 1, 5 and 8 show direct links to the patent portfolio of each Institute mapped on the Knowledge-Share(KS) platform, a project jointly owned by UIBM, Netval and the Politecnico di Torino. The links established with the KS platform make it possible to retrieve information on patents with a greater propensity to reach the market with an approach that, in a complementary manner, using non-patent language, provides information on patents and related enhancement projects; overcoming the classic limits due to the complexity of the patent language and the search for innovation.

The Patents of Italian Public Research Institutes

Module 1 - Patent Families: Global Ranking of Italian Institutes

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Visualizza gli ultimi  60  anni
Visualizza  12  istituti

The chart shows for each year the number of patent families of the Italian research institutes considering the entire time series from the oldest priority/publication date appearing on the documents. The two series are computed by assigning to each year respectively: the oldest publication date and the oldest priority date between documents that populate the same patent family.

The chart plots for each year the number of patent families of Italian research institutes from the first publication available in the entire time series. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

Module 2 - Patent Families: Priority vs. Publication Date / Time

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Visualizza gli ultimi  20  anni

The chart shows for each year the number of patent families of the Italian research institutes considering the entire time series from the oldest priority/publication date appearing on the documents. The two series are computed by assigning to each year respectively: the oldest publication date and the oldest priority date between documents that populate the same patent family.

The chart plots for each year the number of patent families of Italian research institutes from the first publication available in the entire time series. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

Module 3 - Patent Families: Institutes / Time

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Visualizza gli ultimi  10  anni
Visualizza  5  istituti

The chart shows the temporal evolution of patenting at Italian institutes. For each year and for each patent family is considered the first publication date among all the documents that populate the family. By manipulating the slider below the chart, you can vary the number of institutions displayed and the time interval considered (For each research institute and for each patent family is considered the first publication date among all the documents that populate the family).

Click on the time series to view in detail the number of patent families of each institutes and in each year. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

Module 4 - Countries: Publication Country / Year


    Total area patents EP:

    Total area patents WO:

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    Anno corrente:  2001 

    The graph considers all the patent families by Italian institutes and all the publication countries. The data is presented as a "world heatmap". Intense colors indicate geographic areas with a high number of publications, less intense colors less publications. Countries are defined on the basis of the country codes appearing on patent documents. Dates are set by considering each publication date in each family (e.g., if a family has 3 US documents and 1 JP, it will be reported a 3 in the US cell and a 1 in the JP cell). All documents are counted by considering the publication date. By manipulating the slider to the right of the graph it is possible to change the time interval considered (for each institute and each patent family is considered the earliest date of publication date among the documents that populate the family).

    Click on each state in the map to view the total number of documents containing the corresponding country code and the ranking of the 5 most productive institutions in the selected country and time interval. Click on the time series to view in detail the number of patent families of each institutes and in each year. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set. The graph should be interpreted with caution because the application procedures for PCT and EPO - indicated respectively by the country codes World (WO) and Europe (EP) - can hide a significant part of the publications that take place in other countries.

    To design appropriate policies, decision makers require information on trends in technological innovation and indicators that can map the capabilities and relative specialization of different institutions. Patents contain a detailed classification of technologies based on the IPC taxonomy which can be used to evaluate levels of technological specialization. This website has been designed to contribute to this discussion by providing an overview of the technological areas in which different Italian research institutes are more or less active, as evidenced by the patent families that they own and patents filed in several patent offices around the world. Again, the grouping of single patent documents into families is important because, without 'de-duplication' of documents, some large groupings of patents (and related technological classes) could be over-represented in the analysis.


    IPC - International Patent Classification - is a hierarchical system of classification for patent documents based on based on technological classes and subclasses. IPC is based on an international agreement between 52 countries and 4 international organizations and operatively managed by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Each technological area is divided into a number of groups and subgroups from seven main sections which are further divided into classes and subclasses. WIPO provides periodic revisions to the IPC system to take into account new technological fields. The technical content of patent documents is classified with the IPC codes in force at the time of publication of the patent application. This site uses the latest version available.

    Module 5 - Technologies: Ranking Top 15 Institutes / Top 15 IPC

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    IPC level of detail  1 

    The graph presents a "heatmap" generated by examining all the patent families of Italian institutes and all their IPCs. Warm colors indicate technological areas with a relatively high number of patents, cold colors indicate areas with a relatively low number of patents. The value in each cell is computed by considering the number of documents of each institute that contain the corresponding IPC code. Click on each column header to display a description of the IPC code.

    Manipulate the slider below the graph to increase/decrease the number of characters considered for the IPCs - enlarging or restricting the level of specificity of technological areas considered. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

    Module 6 - Technologies: Ranking Top 20 IPC

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    IPC level of detail

    The bar chart presents a ranking of the top 20 IPCs among all the patent families of Italian institutes. The value in each bar is computed by considering the number of patent families of each institute that contain the corresponding IPC code. Click on any bar to display the number of patent families and a description of the corresponding IPC code.

    Manipulate the slider below the graph to increase/decrease the number of characters considered for the IPCs - enlarging or restricting the level of specificity of technological areas considered. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

    Module 7 - Technologies: Ranking Top 20 IPC Subclasses/Time

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    Visualizza gli ultimi  60  anni

    The bar chart presents a ranking of the top 20 IPC Subclasses (e.g. A01N) among all the patent families of Italian institutes. The value in each bar is computed by considering the number of patent families of each institute that contain the corresponding IPC Subclass. Click on any bar to display the number of patent families and a description of the corresponding IPC code.

    Manipulate the slider below the graph to set the desired time interval - increasing or decreasing the number of years considered. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

    Module 8 - Technologies: Ranking Top 15 Institutes / Top 15 IPC Subclasses / Time

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    Visualizza gli ultimi  30  anni

    The graph presents a "heatmap" generated by examining all the patent families of Italian institutes and all their IPC Subclasses. Warm colors indicate technological areas with a relatively high number of patents, cold colors indicate areas with a relatively low number of patents. The value in each cell is computed by considering the number of documents of each institute that contain the corresponding IPC code. Click on each column header to display a description of the corresponding IPC code.

    Manipulate the slider below the graph to set the desired time interval - increasing or decreasing the number of years considered. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

    Module 9 - Technologies: Country-level Filings at UIBM vs.PRIs

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    Anno selezionato:  2016 
    Select a Research Institute
    Select a Research Institute
    Select a Research Institute

    The chart compares the productivity of up to three Italian research institutes with the the top 10 IPC Subclasses in Italy by considering all the IPC Subclasses contained in all the patent applications filed in Italy. The istogram shows for each IPC Subclass the number of patent applications at UIBM (Left Axis). The lines show the number of patents of the selected institutes for the IPC Subclasses considered (Right Axis). The value in each data point is computed by considering the number of patents of each institute that contain the corresponding IPC code. Click on each item of the chart to display a description of the corresponding IPC code.

    Modify the settings below the graph to select the desired year and compare up to three institutes. Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

    Module 10 - Technologies: Technological Change

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    Visualizza gli ultimi  50  anni
    Livello di dettaglio IPC:  1 
    Select a Research Institute
    Select a Research Institute
    Select a Research Institute

    The chart displays for each institute a measure of technological change computed on the basis of all the IPC subclasses (default = 4 digits) contained in all patent documents observed in a given year t. The module allows to compare the level of technological change of any Italian research institute (max 3), relative to a time period of its past history or relative to all other Italian research institutes. The value for each year t is computed as the ratio between the number of new classes (IPC classes that do not appear in the list of IPC observed in the selected time period until the year t-1) and the total number of IPC classes observed in year t. The measure of technological change ranges between 0 (absence of change) and 1 (total renewal). 

    The sliders below the chart allow to select the time interval displayed (default = 25 years) and to set the number of digits considered for each IPC code, widening or narrowing the degree of specificity of the technological areas considered (default = 4 digits). A third slider allows to set the "Organizational Memory" parameter, which is the time horizon within which the comparison is made between the IPC codes appearing in the patent documents of an institution (default = 5 years). The parameter "Organizational Memory" may vary between 1 and max taking into account different levels of depreciation of the knowledge associated with certain technological areas. Setting "Organizational Memory" to its maximum value is equivalent to assume that the knowledge is not subject to depreciation and that any activity carried out in the past within a specific technological area retains its value over time. In contrast, setting the parameter to lower values is equivalent to hypothesise that activities carried out in the past within each technological area are subject to obsolescence after n years (where n is the number of years selected). The drop down menus allow to select the institutions to be compared (max 3). The ON/OFF button allows to choose whether to compare the IPC classes of an institution against its own past history, or against all the other institutes (to compute the level of technological change of the selected institute relative to the activities of all other institutes). Click the "Export" button to export the raw data powering the chart that is currently visualized. Click the "Export Full Report" button to export the full data set.

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