Peer to Patent Project
The USPTO launched the Peer to Patent Project in June 2007. The Project permits the public to actually take part in the patenting process by submitting prior art and commentary relevant to the claims of pending patent applications in certain classes. These classes are Technology Center 2100 (“Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security”) or Technology Center 3600 Class 705 (“Data Processing: Financial, Business Practice, Management, or Cost/Price Determination”). Up to 400 eligible applications will be reviewed.
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 this pilot is to prove that organized public participation can improve the quality of issued patents.
The Project has already been renewed for a year, until June 2009. Hopefully, it will be extended again because this is a great way to involve the general public in the scientific process and the scientific discourse.
(Thanks to Nicole Engard for the link)