|Weekly News Digest
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Peer-to-Patent Pilot Releases Report on Pilot Project
Peer-to-Patent (www.peertopatent.org), the web-based governmental social networking project, has released a report on the results of its 1-year pilot. Peer-to-Patent seeks to improve patent quality by connecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to an open network of scientific and technical experts to enhance the patent examination process.
Launched on June 15, 2007, by New York Law School Professor Beth Noveck together with a network of corporate and academic collaborators and in cooperation with the USPTO, Peer-to-Patent is the first social networking project with a direct link to decision-making by the federal government.
Under traditional practices, USPTO patent examiners bear the sole burden of identifying and relating information pertinent to patent applications. Under Peer-to-Patent, expert volunteers were permitted to assist in these efforts. With the consent of participating inventors, patent applications were posted to the Peer-to-Patent site where the expert reviewers discussed the applications and submitted bibliographic information, known as prior art, relevant to determining if an invention was new and nonobvious, as the law requires to obtain a patent. At the conclusion of the review period, this prior art was forwarded to the USPTO patent examiner for consideration and use in their further search efforts.
Data from the first year of the Peer-to-Patent pilot shows that an open network of reviewers can improve the quality of information available to patent examiners and that such citizen-reviewers are capable of producing information relevant to the patent examination process and are willing to volunteer time. Initial results based on a survey of patent examiners from the USPTO suggest that information provided by the public is beneficial to the examination process. Peer-to-Patent attracted more than 2,000 peer reviewers. The first 23 office actions issued during the pilot phase showed use of Peer-to-Patent submitted prior art in nine rejections.
To view the Peer-to-Patent report in its entirety, visit http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/P2Panniversaryreport.pdf.
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