Team Name: 
Patent Trolls

Patents - a vital tool for innovation, or a way to crush competitors?

The patent system has a huge impact on Australia's technology industry - it protects some of our best-known inventors and inventions - like the cochlear implant and the cervical cancer vaccine - while sometimes allowing patent trolls to crush new businesses. Given its economic significance, it's important that the Australian public understand their patent system - which isn't easy given how complex and specialised an area it is! aims to change this by visualising the patent process, helping ordinary people to explore the patents that lie behind many inventions. Using the IP Australia Intellectual Property Government Open Data set and the AusPat database, converts masses of patent process data into easily-understood timelines, allowing users to search for patents and see the patent's story.

On top of the patent process data, integrates external sources, such as news articles and images, to present patents in their full context. Relevant articles are automatically retrieved from the National Library of Australia's Trove database. Users can also add their own annotations - text, links and images - to tell the full story of an invention and inventor. can be used as an educational tool to explain the patent system. could also be extended to create an application for coordinating community efforts to strike down invalid patents. is built on a Free Software/Open Source stack, including Django, Python, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and nginx running in a CentOS Linux environment.

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Datasets Used: 
IP Australia Intellectual Property Government Open Data (, Trove API (, IP Australia AusPat database (

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