Peer to Patent

There’s a good article in the Economist on the new scheme, Peer to Patent, recently adopted for a trial by the U.S. Patent Office and also placed under evaluation by Britain’s Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. Devised by New York Law School faculty member Beth Simone Noveck (let’s hear it for law profs!), the process has the patent office submitting about 250 applications in various computer fields to the scrutiny of the public, the thought being that the relevant communities will know more than the patent examiners about such critical matters as “prior art.”

The relevant page on the U.S. Patent Office site is called “Peer Reviewed Prior Art Pilot,” which, in a completely unhelpful and wretchedly laid out page, directs you to the Peer to Patent website that is, by a contrast that ought to be deeply embarrassing to the Patent Office, well-designed and completely clear.

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