[EAS] Peer-to-Patent Project

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sun Jun 17 22:47:13 EDT 2007

Dear Friends and Colleagues -

Sorry for the hiatus, I was away on a trip to visit my son in 
Atlanta, and to do some photography. At such times I minimize my 
email interactions, otherwise it wouldn't be much of a vacation.

News of this patent-related experiment came my way through an IEEE 
newsletter. Considering the patent system is as broken as health 
care, any quest for improvement should be welcome. I get the feeling 
though that this may be another instance of "user empowerment," 
meaning the user bears the burden, and no substitute for tighter 
patent policy and more trained patent examiners.


(partly excerpted from <http://www.todaysengineer.org/>)

>Peer-to-Patent Project Invites Public Participation
>On 15 June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 
>opened the patent examination process for online public 
>participation for the first time. With the consent of the inventor, 
>the Peer-to-Patent: Community Patent Review pilot, developed by the 
>New York Law School Institute for Information Law and Policy in 
>cooperation with the USPTO, will enable the public to submit prior 
>art and commentary relevant to the claims of 250 pending patent 
>applications in Computer Architecture, Software and Information 
>Security (TC2100). This historic initiative connects an open network 
>of community input to the legal decision-making process. 
>Peer-to-Patent involves 1) review and discussion of posted patent 
>applications, 2) research to locate prior art references 3) 
>uploading prior art references relevant to the claims, 4) annotating 
>and evaluating submitted prior art, and 5) top ten references, along 
>with commentary, forwarded to the USPTO. The goal of the pilot is to 
>prove that organized public participation can improve the quality of 
>issued patents.
>Participation is open to the public -- members of the scientific 
>community are especially encouraged to participate by becoming a 
>reviewer, a patent application facilitator, or providing a qualified 
>patent application for open review in the pilot. IEEE member 
>participation is crucial to demonstrating the value of openness and 
>making the case for greater USPTO accountability to the scientific 
>community. A successful pilot will also make a case for expanding to 
>other subject matter.

For details see <http://www.peertopatent.org/>, and, probably more 
usefully, <http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/>.

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