Trea is an exploration and visualization service that uses the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) patent data. The service, which launched last week, pulls every patent document and accompanying image from the USPTO’s database (all of which are open data) and lets users visualize trends in various research fields, breakdowns showing different companies’ areas of research, and collaborations among inventors, among other functions. Trea also includes feature that allows inventors to secretly and securely submit diagrams and ideas for patents, which the inventor alone can later access—when defending against a future lawsuit, for example—to indicate exactly when they came up with their idea. Although the USPTO is not involved in the project, Trea’s creators says they have been supportive of his efforts.
Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.