USPTO $10,000 Phased Innovation Competition Seeks Incremental Returns in Patent ID Process

Center of Excellence Patent and Trademark Office Series Focuses on Visual Recognition in Patent Examination to Update Millions of Documents

Mar 26, 2012, 15:30 ET from TopCoder, Inc.

GLASTONBURY, Conn., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TopCoder, Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators in partnership with Harvard Business School and the U.S. Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (COECI), today announced the opening of registration for the second in a series of phased innovation competitions to develop new algorithms that can automatically identify and locate specific elements within millions of patent documents for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Offering $10,000 in prizes for the top 5 winners, PatentLabeling2 will seek to build upon winning solutions from a previous round of competition which identified labels on patent drawings by using algorithms. All interested participants can register on the TopCoder website at starting today and up until the competition's close on April 16th 2012.


"To achieve a performance gain of over 70% for a relative drop in a very large bucket of cost and effort is a very rewarding experience for TopCoder," said Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, Inc. "The COECI is creating an open pool of algorithmic and other digital solutions generated by the public which have the potential for reuse and impact across many departments and agencies."

Software developers from around the world and the TopCoder community are invited to compete in the next challenge phase in the Imaging and Text Recognition Innovation Challenge series to develop specialized algorithms to help bring the seven million patents presently in the patent archive into the digital age. This new competition will challenge competitors to integrate and enhance the best original algorithms into a variety of mashups, hybrids, and novel solutions to address the problems of patent search and identification.  Some advanced knowledge of text recognition, image analysis, and the construction of bounding boxes is recommended. Code submissions will automatically be scored based on their ability to enhance performance based on test data.

About the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation
The Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (COECI) is a Government-led, virtual center of excellence designed to advance the use of open and distributed innovation methodologies to improve government missions.  Established in November 2011, and leveraging NASA's success with these methodologies, the COECI serves to harness and redistribute the government's collective experience in, and best practices for, collaborative and distributed innovation.  
The COECI focuses its efforts on three primary functions: education, implementation guidance, and metrics for measuring Agency performance.  It leverages multiple agencies' resources to conduct training and workshops, and to develop the best practices repository.  It provides guidance to other agencies on implementing open and distributed innovation initiatives, from defining a problem, to designing incentives, to evaluating solutions. It uses internal and external measures to judge the impact on operational efficiency of the solutions gained from the initiatives.  Overall, the COECI represents, and heralds, a fundamental shift in how the public sector uses open and distributed innovation. For more information, please go to

About TopCoder, Inc.
TopCoder is the world's largest Open Innovation Community of digital creators with nearly 400,000 members representing algorithmists, software developers and creative artists from over 200 countries. The TopCoder Open Innovation Community creates digital assets including analytics, software and creative designs and solutions for a wide-ranging client base through a competitive, rigorous, standards based methodology. Combined with our extremely talented community this groundbreaking methodology results in superior outcomes for our clients. For more information about sponsoring TopCoder events and utilizing TopCoder's software services and platforms, visit

TopCoder is a registered trademark of TopCoder, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Jim McKeown
TopCoder, Inc.

SOURCE TopCoder, Inc.