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Patent data is public data par excellence. Its vastness (70 million records) and relevance to innovation mean that any open data concept or linked web would be incomplete without it.
It may even be considered, perhaps, as one of the earliest examples of "open data", as the very basis for patents is the disclosure of ideas (in exchange for exclusive rights).
Today, we have a situation where old public data meets new public data, and where the meeting points are the linked Web and social networks.
This is generating opportunities for transforming the education and acquisition of knowledge for every engineer and scientist in the world.