The OpenCorporates core mission has always been about making official public data about companies more widely available, more usable and more useful. Much of this comes from one of the 120+ company registers it uses as a primary source, but an increasing amount comes from other public sources, which now includes US and global trademark registers.

This is useful information in its own right, but it now also permits a search for companies by the trademarks they own – which is for some a more natural way of doing things.  It’s fairly common to think of companies as the trademarks, logos and product names we interact with daily, rather than as legal entities. For example, while lots of people will recognise the brand Nestlé, fewer will know the full company name – Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. In many cases, brand names and the name of the company that holds the trademark are not even close.

Alongside over 900,000 existing trademarks from the WIPO Madrid Register, OpenCorporates now also has 4.5 million trademarks from the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office, and it is pulling in new trademarks and updates every day.

What does this mean?

As a result, OpenCorporates are ingesting registered trademarks from multiple sources and reconciling them to companies, so that users can:

  1. Search for companies by their brands
  2. Preview registered trademarks next to the companies that own them in search results
  3. View trademarks for a given company
  4. Filter companies by whether they have trademarks

Additionally, API users can search trademark registrations directly, sorting by expiry and registration dates.

From where does OpenCorporates get the data?

It currently gathers registered trademarks from two sources:

  1. The Madrid register from the World Intellectual Property Organisation
    The Madrid system is the primary system for registering trademarks in multiple jurisdictions, covering over 116 countries. The register is made available by WIPO as regular data dumps; and OpenCorporates check for new records on a daily basis, and parse the source XML to extract the data and download images.
  2. The United States Patent and Trademark Office
    The United States Patent and Trademark Office also makes trademarks available as regular data dumps, which are processed in a similar way to the WIPO registry. The USPTO data covers the 50 states.
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Source: OpenCorporates