Low quality patents waste money. US companies spend millions of dollars year after year in litigation expenses defending against patents that shouldn’t have been issued. The patent examination process should stop patents from being issued on old or obvious technology. Unfortunately, just because technology is old doesn’t mean it is easy for a patent examiner to find. Particularly in the computer field, much prior art is in the form of old manuals, documentation, web sites, etc. that have, until now, not been readily searchable.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cisco have collaborated to create this first free and open archiving platform for the entire IT industry.

Simply put: fewer bad patents will be issued if we as industry give USPTO examiners the tools they need to find old technology.

Features and Scope

  • Customized Parser Algorithm to meet USPTO needs. No additional training is required for USPTO examiners. USPTO can use their complete existing set of operators and search strings to search content.
  • Uploaded documents are machine-classified with CPCs by Google https://publicpolicy.googleblog.com/2015/07/good-patents-support-innovation-while.html
  • Auto Save Search queries and Custom reporting to be used by USPTO to attach to their reports to support their decision
  • Multi-tenant open architecture. You maintain your content using unique FTP user id and password
  • Backend API Support & Open standard allows USPTO or any other company to develop new search tools or apply latest AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning technologies to re-use content effectively to improve content review and research during patent filing process
  • Hosted by MIT and open to the entire industry


  • The platform is being used by the USPTO, so the documents will be available to the USPTO for patent examination.
  • The documents will be also made available to search engines (Google Patent, Bing) for easy access to the public.
  • Applicants can search for prior art before they file patent applications.
  • How to Join

    Simply send your inquiries and request to join at priorartarchive@media.mit.edu

    How it Works

    • If you have any content in the digital format, simply collect and upload it using the secured FTP server.
    • You will be assigned a unique secured FTP user id and password. Simply upload your documents to the secured FTP server and your documents will be available for USPTO.
    • Also, you should get your old paper technical documentation ready in the digital formats (word, pdf, images, web pages, excel, text, and video)
    • Your content will be also made available to other search engines like Google & Bing so that it is found in the public domain via public search engines.
    • Site is public and it can be used by innovators and law firms to review prior innovations and documents before they file their patent requests with USPTO.
    • Make sure your documents have the following metadata elements where possible:
      • Title
      • Description
      • Creation Date
      • Publication Date
      • Modification Date
      • Copyright

    Secured FTP Details

    Host: sftp.priorartarchive.org
    Port: 22
    Protocol: SFTP
    User: <your username>
    Password: <your password>

    Drag and drop the files to SFTP folder and you are done.