Database of Formerly-Secret Soviet Inventions

The three Excel spreadsheets found below contain the information collected on 4,566 previously secret Soviet inventions handled by the Soviet Ministry of Defense's Department for Inventions and published between 1942 and 2007. They were originally combined in a FileMakerPro relational database using the unique certificate number as the key field.

Inventor's Certificate Information

Certificates File Right click or option-click the "Certificates File" link and choose "Save As..." to download this file. This Excel spreadsheet (713 KB) contains 4,566 rows of data.

Certno = Inventor's Certificate Number- a unique numbered assigned by the State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries at the time of an invention's publication or, in the case of classified inventions, at the time of declassification. Each issue of the Soviet patent journal publishes a set of certificate numbers that builds on the certificate numbers of the prior issue.

Appno = Application Number- a number assigned after an application has successfully completed the preliminary examination. Unclassified numbers are assigned by the State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries; classified, by the Ministry of Defense. See table 4.2 in book for a listing of the classified numbers.

Application numbers are not always unique. Very infrequently two inventor's certificates are issued with the same application number. Most likely the examiners determined that the original application contained two distinct inventions and split the application in two. Similarly, two separate applications can be joined together.

Pubdate = Publication Date- the day on which the State Committee published an invention's abstract in the Byulleten'. (mm/dd/yy).

Appdate = Application Date- the day on which the State Committee or Ministry of Defense organization received the proper forms disclosing the invention. According to Soviet law a working prototype of the invention or proof of the invention's workability must have existed by the application date. (mm/dd/yy)

Examarea = VNIIGPE Examination Department- a single two digit number (and later two two digit numbers separated by a hyphen) attached to the application number, e.g., 1992302/26-09. This number indicates the technical examination department of VNIIGPE to which an inventor's certificate was assigned for examination. The Soviet Union began using this number in 1959. See Appendix 3, pp. 237-239 of the book.

Ipc1 and Ipc2 = International Patent Classification- a patent classification system maintained under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Soviet Union began to use the international patent classification (IPC) in the 1960s. In the 1970s the State Committee reclassified all past Soviet inventor's certificates into the 1970 edition of the IPC. The IPC is revised every five years, and the IPCs of post 1975 inventor's certificates use subsequent revisions. When conducting long time trend analyses, care should be taken to ensure that no changes in the relevant IPCs have occurred.

In its most complete form, there are five different levels to the IPC, for example:




MAIN GROUP 1 or 1/00


Issue- the issue number of the official Byulleten'.

Year- the publication year of the official Byulleten'.

NKAppno- after the abolition of the central Committee for Inventing in 1936, each People's Commisariat (Narodnyy Kommissariat or Narkom) managed its own invention applications and assigned its own series of application numbers. Usually represented by the acronym for the Narkom and an ascending series of numbers. This decentralized examination system remained until 1955.

Origfac and Origfac2 = Originating Facility- the organization(s) at which the invention was developed.

Until 1961 no inventor's certificate mentioned an originating facility. During the Khrushchev period inventor's certificates named numerous originating facilities, with even some references made to defense industrial organizations. (Most frequently these references simply identified the particular defense industrial state committee at which the invention was developed.) The censorship of originating facilities was dramatically curtailed by the Russian Federation government.

A lack of originating facility information does not necessarily indicate that the sponsor of an invention was subordinate to a defense industrial ministry. Some inventions were made by individuals independently of their employing facility. The originating facility also does not necessarily indicate the organizational affiliation of all inventors. Many inventions list individuals from outside organizations as inventors without including their place of work in the originating facility field.

Udc1 and Udc2 = Universal Decimal Classification-a Dewey decimal- related classification system used to index all forms (e.g., journal articles, dissertations, etc.) of published technical information in the Soviet Union. The logic of the system differs from the patent classification by being more closely related to industrial areas and by being more detailed. Later this system was dropped for inventions.

Address, Oblast, Index and City: the Russian Federation, following international practice, began to divulge this information for each published invention.

Inventor Information

Inventors File Right click or option-click the "Inventors File" link and choose "Save As..." to download this file. This Excel spreadsheet (1.3 MB) contains 15,680 rows of data.

Certno: See Inventor's Certificate Number above.

Initials: The initials representing the given name and patronymic of the inventor.

Lastname: The family name of the inventor.

Firstname: The full given name.

Patronymic: The full patronymic.

Use Information

In an attempt to promote the dissemination of new technologies throughout the economy, Soviet officials published a journal, Vnedrennyy izobreteniy, that listed inventions put into serial production for the first time. These data come from selected issues of that journal.

User Information File Right click or option-click the "User Information File" link and choose "Save As..." to download this file. This Excel spreadsheet (37 KB) contains 50 rows of data.

Certno: see Inventor's Certificate Number above.

Appno: see Application Number above.

Bookno: issue number of the journal Vnedrennyy izobreteniy.

Leadtime: number of days between the application date and use date.

Usedate: date (dd/mm/yy) of first usage certified by the using facility on the official Form 4-NT. Some dates give only the year of first usage - A60=1960 - or month and year - M1170=Nov. 1970.

Usedate2: converts all dates to dd/mm/yy to allow lead-time calculation. To convert a date, the midpoint of the range is selected.

Userfac: name of the facility certifying first usage of an invention on the official Form 4-NT.

Userfac = User facility the name of the using facility. ue represents an unidentified enterprise and was often used in conjunction with a defense-industrial facility.

Userloc = User location - geographic location of the using facility.

Usermin = User ministry - ministry affiliation of the using facility. When a defense-industrial facility used the invention, only the ministry information was given.