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Community Patent Review -- Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Community Patent Review's Frequently Asked Questions page. We hope you find this helpful and informative.  You are encouraged to email any comments or questions to yeen.tham@communitypatent.org.

Contents

Abuse

Competitors will steal information and use this system to misappropriate confidential business information.  How do we ensure that this doesn't become a hunting ground for competitors?

Application

How do applications get into the system?

Burden

There are too many patents.  Won't the workload be too great for non-professional participants?

Business, Effect on

Doesn't big business stand to lose from this process?

Cost-Efficiency

Rational ignorance is intentionally built into the patent system. According to Mark Lemley, since most patents are never litigated or even licensed, spending too much time and money on initial review is a waste and "decisions can be made much more efficiently in litigation." Why invest in process review?

Documents

Where are all the project documents? What should I read first?

Estoppel

Will issued patents enjoy an enhanced likelihood of validity ("Gold-Plating")?

Flooding

Will we overwhelm the Patent Office with prior art?

Gaming

Participants will game the system.  How can you ensure that people with conflicts of interest won't place speed bumps and stumbling blocks in the path of their competitors?

Will participants subvert the process for their benefit and, if so, what are the likely abuses?

Glossary

"Open Review"

"P2Patent"

"Submission" vs. "Forwarding"

Incentive to Participate

Isn't there a lack of incentive to participate?

There will be too few participants.  How will you recruit?

Should we pay people to participate in the process?

Why would anyone participate as a peer?

Inequitable Conduct

Do applicants risk inequitable conduct if they fail to forward additional prior art references identified by peers (beyond those most relevant) to the Patent Office?

Infringement, Copyright

Will submissions to the system lead to copyright infringement? In other words, if a public peer reviewer submits a journal article into the system as a piece of prior art, is this a copyright infringement?

Infringement, Willfulness

Won't participating in Community Peer Review run the risk of increasing liability for willful infringement?

International Conformity

Doesn't this system diverge from international norms?  What about conformity?

Invention & Innovation, Effect on

Public criticism of the invention will depress the price.  Won't this system shine too much light on an invention and hurt the market for innovation?

This doesn't solve the problem of AIDS drugs in Africa or reduce the cost of Cipro when Anthrax breaks out, does it?

This proposal is too radical.  How can we put the fate of innovators and national competitiveness in the hands of the public?

Inventions will be excessively scrutinized.  Won't the level of patenting decrease?

Effect on Small Inventors

Are small inventors prejudiced in The Community Patent Review Pilot?

Manageability of CPR

How will the coordination of all the parties involved in the patent application review process be managed?

Metrics

What are the metrics by which The Community Patent Review Pilot will measure success?

Name of Project

What is the name of the project, pilot and review system? Is there any relation to the "European Community Patent Project"

Non-Delegation

Does the Community Patent Review Project give decision making authority to non-governmental employees violate the non-delegation doctrine prohbiting delegation of authority to unauthorized parties?  

Patent System, Effect on

Won't "Peer-to-Patent" decrease certainty and stability in the system?

Pendency

Will the review process delay patent examination and, possibly, patent issuance?

Pilot

What is the planned pilot for Community Patent Review at the USPTO?

Procedural Hurdles

There will be procedural hurdles.  Would the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) prohibit Peer-to-Patent?

Project Governance

What is the governance structure for the project?

Privatization of CPR

Can this process be privatized?  Could a consortium of companies run this system?  Can we "do patents" with contract law? 

Prosecution History / File Wrapper

If we change the process what happens to the prosecution history and file wrapper estoppel?  How will a record be created for appeal?

Rating and Reputation

How will the rating and reputation system work?

Sign Up

I am interested in submitting patent applications.  How do I sign up?

Steering Committee

Who is on the Steering Committee for the project?

System

How do I lookup someone by Affiliation?

Use Cases

What are Use Cases?

Wiki or Blog

Is Community Patent Review a Wiki?  Is it a Blog?  What kind of application is it?

 

Abuse

Competitors will steal information and use this system to misappropriate confidential business information.  How do we ensure that this doesn't become a hunting ground for competitors? [top]

At present, most patent applications are published after 18 months, whether or not they have been granted.  The presumption in our system (and every other patent system) is in favor of information disclosure and there is no right under the patent system to keep an invention secret.  The patent process is a quid pro quo -- a bargain between the inventor and the public to disclose the invention and make its contents known publicly in exchange for the patent monopoly.  As the Supreme Court has stated, "[T]he pressure for secrecy is easily exaggerated, for if the inventor of a process cannot himself ascertain a "use" for that which his process yields, he has every incentive to make his invention known to those able to do so. Finally, how likely is disclosure of a patented process to spur research by others into the uses to which the product may be put? To the extent that the patentee has power to enforce his patent, there is little incentive for others to undertake a search for uses." The inventor is taking some risk by disclosing but that risk is that of foregoing trade secret protection, nothing more.  This is a small cost to impose on the inventor for the cost imposed on the public from the patent monopoly.  If the patentee does not want to forego secrecy or does not feel that the patent is meritorious enough to receive protection, he should not be filing for a patent. If and when the patentee receives the patent, he then has the right to go after those who abused the process with a big stick.  The Peer-to-Patent system speeds up the disclosure and helps to realize the bargain between the inventor and the public to make information about the invention public.

Application

How do applications get into the system? [top]

The inventor or assignee contacts the CPR team (info@peertopatent.org) and requests participation in the pilot. Once they agree to any requirements and the application is approved, there is a check to verify when the application is going to be published by the USPTO. When the application is ready for publication, the USPTO will forward the data for the application to the CPR operations team. The CRP operations team will then post the application within the system.

Burden on Participants

There are too many patents.  Won't the workload be too great for non-professional participants?[top]

We are not asking lay persons to be patent examiners.  The systems asks those with knowledge of an area of innovation to submit prior art, namely bibliographic information relevant to determining a patent's novelty and innovativeness  If NSF can tap over 50,000 natural scientists to review grant applications, Community Patent Review should be able to solicit the participation of a vastly wider network of experts.  Finally, this is only a pilot with 250-400 applications.  If each application has even a few participating reviewers submitting prior art and a larger number commenting on it, the Patent Office will receive useful information to which it does not at present have access.

Business, Effect on

Doesn't big business stand to lose from this process?  Won't it want to preserve the status quo?[top]

Even the biggest patent holders like IBM recognize the desperate need for patent reform.  No one wins when patent grants become meaningless, uncertain and subject to expensive legal challenges.  The largest companies with the deepest pockets are the ripest targets for patent trolls.

Cost-Efficiency

Rational ignorance is intentionally built into the patent system. According to Mark Lemley, since most patents are never litigated or even licensed, spending too much time and money on initial review is a waste and "decisions can be made much more efficiently in litigation." Why invest in process review? [top]

When Lemley wrote this he contemplated the choice between imposing the cost on inventors upfront or after the fact and deemed it more cost effective to impose the costs of review on those who are invested enough in their patents to justify litigation. But it is no longer a choice between imposing costs on those seeking to litigate versus prosecute.  The Community Patent Review system does not impose any additional cost burden on the Patent Office or the inventor and, at the same time, it reduces the costs of litigation.  It also does not impose the costs of an inter partes interference proceeding,which must be borne by the inventor.  Lemley does not measure the significant costs and chilling effects that the overhang of uncertain patents subject to challenge creates in the industry.  Furthermore, it ignores the Supreme Court's clear statement that "primary responsibility for sifting out unpatentable material lies in the patent office.  To await litigation is – for all practical purposes – to debilitate the patent system."

Documents

Where are all the project documents? What should I read first? [top]

Project vision and other background information on the Community Patent Review is located at:
http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/p2p_exec_sum_sep_06.pdf.

Next, visit the Technical Document Blog, a repository of technical and design documents, at:
http://project.communitypatent.org.

View our Use Case Model to see how the system will operate.
http://www.communitypatent.org/use_cases.

Estoppel

Will issued patents enjoy an enhanced likelihood of validity ("Gold-Plating")? [top]

It's true that community review might increase the probability of a community reviewed patent being found valid in litigation - because the patent has been vetted beforehand and more relevant prior art is more likely to have been considered by the patent examiner.  There is no change in the presumption of validity.   Reviewed patents will be treated like any other in this regard.  The presumption of validity should not be changed because the patent examiner might not have used a prior art reference forwarded by the public under this systemand not all references will be forwarded to the Patent Office.  Hence to change the presumption of validity might dissuade participation.

Flooding

Will we overwhelm the patent examiners with prior art? [top]

If this is the case, it means, lots of people are interested and participating, which is good.  The software system being put in place will forward to the Patent Office the most relevant prior art (up to the 10 best prior art references).   We're instituting mechanisms, such as rating and reputation to identify the most relevant prior art for forwarding to the Patent Office to prevent flooding.

Gaming

Participants will game the system.  How can you ensure that people with conflicts of interest won't hinder the path of their competitors? [top]

Absolutely!  Competition will drive more information into the system.  So long as people make valid arguments and submissions as rated by their peers, their personal agenda is irrelevant.  Having many participants in the process dilutes the effect of bad apples or unconstructive participants.  Within any social reputation system, norms evolve to safeguard the quality of participation and we can expect something similar here.  We will use other technical solutions, such as IP-address tracking to limit gaming.  Participants will also be required to adhere to a Code of Conduct.  Traditional peer-review systems like the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council and the National Institutes of Health have well-established regulations and disclosure requirements to weed out conflicts among peer-review participants.

Will participants subvert the process for their benefit and, if so, what are the likely abuses? [top]

Gaming already exists in the patent system - this is not a new problem. Patent applicants are not required to provide the Patent Office with the most relevant information relating to their inventions. Many times patent applicants submit no prior art at all or submit an overwhelming volume of irrelevant prior art to the examiner (patent flooding). Unfortunately, third-party submissions must be made by mail within a two-month window for a fee of $180 and without commentary and is, therefore, rarely invoked. We expect the pilot program to alleviate these gaming shortcomings and to identify other potential abuses, which will be addressed. In the mean time, the process' rating system, a code of conduct, and Internet addressing will help prevent the most egregious abuses.

Glossary

"Open Examination" & "Open Review" [top]

Open Examination and Open Review are terms used to refer to the Community Patent Review peer reviewing process.

"P2Patent" [top]

P2Patent refers to the Community Patent Review software system.

"Submission" vs. "Forwarding" [top]

-                     Submission refers to a peer reviewer submission of prior art and/or commentary about such prior art.

-                     Forwarding refers to the rank ordered list of prior art identifying the top ten submissions as judged by the community which the system forwards to the examiner. 

Incentive to Participate

Isn't there a lack of incentive to participate? [top]

To the contrary, in the patenting process the stakes are high and self-interest will motivate participation. For many the desire to ensure that unpatentable subject matter in their area of art does not pass muster, will further motivate involvement. We will build these incentives for participation into the system.  First, the social reputation software creates an incentive to join the network of experts.  We appeal to expertise and professionalism to induce participation.  Second, the system "chunks" the work so that assignments are modular and participation can be accomplished without an undue imposition on time.  Third, more participation creates a feedback score which increases one's standing in the community that is beneficial when the participant himself becomes an inventor filing for a patent.  Standing in the community can only encourage serious and focused review by other members of the group.  Finally, corporate managers have an incentive to encourage participation to learn more about the state of the art in the industry and to raise the standing of its scientists and experts in the innovation process.

There will be too few participants.  How will you recruit? [top]

By focusing the pilot on Technology Center 2100 and Technology Center 3600 (Class 705), we concentrate our work on software-related, business methods, and e-commerce patents.  There is a large community of software developers with a strong spirit of voluntarism. Likewise, business methods have raised controversy and interest within the patent community, business media, and academia.  Furthermore, there are many within that community who oppose patenting and will want to participate in an effort to defeat bad patents.  In addition, those volunteering patents to be peer reviewed, including IBM and Microsoft have also committed to have employees participate as peer reviewers.  The Peer-to-Patent system will also solicit participation from industry, universities, and academic tech transfer offices.  Interest groups and industry media can also be used to recruit participants.  Relevant journals and conferences will be used to spread the word about participation.  Graduate students will want to participate to raise their standing and become known in their communities of practice.

We will tap into existing networks of scientific collaboration and expertise.  For the same reasons that many people create the 18 million blogs currently on-line in the United States, namely to put their name out there as the "go-to" person on a given industry and issue, experts from a wide array of innovating professions will, we hope, want to participate in this network.

Should we pay people to participate in the process? [top]

While we can imagine using the system to generate revenue from patent licenses that can be redistributed back to the reviewers, this conservative proposal does not propose to "corrupt" the peer review process with payments.  The idea is to create more, not less, impartiality and more, not less, openness and transparency.  In the future, we can imagine using the process to set aside downstream revenues to benefit social causes and develop a market in venture philanthropy where companies dedicate a portion of proceeds or licenses to civic and developing world causes.  But at this stage no funds will change hands and the system will be free and open.

Why would anyone participate as a peer? [top]

We once said the same about participation in open source software projects - but we know today that people with passion will participate in something they believe in.  There are a broad array of people who will participate, including corporate employees, independent inventors, academic scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, and hobbyists. 

Inequitable Conduct

Should applicants fear inequitable conduct and forward additional prior art references identified by peers (beyond those most relevant) to examiners, thereby increasing costs?  For example, what if the peer community submits 25 prior art references into the tool.   The system forwards the top 10 references to the examiner.  Will the inventor have committed an ethical violation if he doesn't forward the other 15 references? [top]

Applicants are no more obligated to forward the additional references to the examiner than for any other prior art of which they are aware.   Applicants are obligated to tell the examiner about material prior art, but not irrelevant prior art and not prior art that is merely cumulative of other prior art already known to the examiner.  The additional 15 references do not necessarily get forwarded to the applicant, so there's nothing to imply or impute knowledge of those references, or their materiality, to the applicant.  In fact, the record in the tool indicates those references are less relevant. 

Infringement, Copyright

Will submissions to the system lead to copyright infringement? In other words, if a public peer reviewer submits a journal article into the system as a piece of prior art, is this a copyright infringement? [top]

There are no copyright issues with respect to any use of patents, or with respect to patent prior art references being forwarded to the examiner.   The possibility of copyright infringement arises when copyrighted references are submitted into a system separate from the USPTO (the submission is both a copy and a distribution of the reference).  We can reduce copyright issues by educating peers about copyright, requesting consent from copyright owners, and submitting links to copyrighted documents (rather than actually posting them publicly online).  Finally, this activity is likely to qualify as "fair use" of copyrighted works.

Infringement, Willfulness

Won’t participating in Community Patent Review run the risk of increasing liability for willful infringement? [top]

A defendant may be held liable for damages for willful infringement if he/she: (a) knew of the patent;  (b) deliberately copied the ideas or designs of another; and (c) failed to affirmatively exercise due care, which may include the duty to seek competent legal advice before engaging in any activity that may result in infringement.  But participation in the pilot, by contributing prior art, without more, does not give rise to willfulness.  Willfulness pertains to infringement of a granted and issued patent not, as in this case, a published application. There is no legal basis for willfulness.  You cannot be subject to enhanced damages for infringement until a patent issues.  Although provisional damages are available from the date a patent application is published under certain limited conditions, provisional royalties are specifically excluded from enhanced damages.  There are no enhanced damages available until the patent actually issues.  Furthermore, participation as a peer does not prove the requisite "knowledge" of the issued patent (just the patent application) and the scope of the issued claims.  Also, peers will not necessarily be working for companies that are concerned with willfulness, or even about patent infringement (e.g., a student or independent inventor).  Finally, patent reform legislation would require notice of infringement by the patentee for willfulness.  This will insulate peers still more from willfulness.

International Conformity

Doesn't this system diverge from international norms?  What about conformity? [top]

The European, Japanese and other patent offices should ideally, run parallel pilot implementations of Peer-to-Patent to reform the patent system worldwide and to generate more information about scientific innovation while, at the same time, building the community of scientific experts.   If we are going to change the world, we must start at home!

Invention & Innovation, Effect on

Public criticism of the invention will depress the price.  Won't this system shine too much light on an invention and hurt the market for innovation? [top]

Only for unqualified inventions undeserving of a patent will this depress the price but not necessarily dry up the market.  It should significantly increase the price for successful inventions because these inventions will, effectively, be endorsed by a community of experts.  We expect that licensing revenues will increase and intend to study the impact of this process on the market for inventions.

This doesn't solve the problem of AIDS drugs in Africa or reduce the cost of Cipro when Anthrax breaks out, does it? [top]

No, it doesn't.  We still need the reform-minded proposals like those of Jamie Love at the Consumer Project on Technology, for example, who is proposing to create a fund to compensate innovators when they bring new pharmaceuticals to the market to encourage the donation of those drugs to the public domain.

At the same time, the Peer-to-Patent system pushes the conversation about invention and innovation to the forefront and makes more information available to the social activist community interested in these issues.

This proposal is too radical.  How can we put the fate of innovators and national competitiveness in the hands of the public? [top]

The Peer-to-Patent system does not eliminate the Patent Office nor does it alter the substantive, statutory standards we use for reviewing inventions.  It preserves the same scheme we have had in place since 1952.  It merely combines with that system the "radical" invention of the jury that we have used since the 12th century and which we zealously guard as a non-expert institution.  Furthermore, this is not merely public participation but participation by mutually self-rating experts committed to a minimum level of participation.  We rely on such mechanisms for selecting Academy Awards and Nobel Prizes.  We even use them in government, such as the National Science Foundation which claims to operate from the bottom up, using peer experts to keep track of research around the United States and the world, maintaining constant contact with the research community to identify ever-moving horizons of inquiry, monitoring which areas are most likely to result in spectacular progress and choosing the most promising people to conduct the research."

Inventions will be excessively scrutinized.  Won't the level of patenting decrease? [top]

Hopefully, yes.  We grant too many patents already.

Since it is scientists, innovators and inventors who themselves rely on patents participating in the system, there is not an undue incentive for Schadenfreude and defeating every patent.

This system might also be used as a way for the community to award prizes and accolades for particularly meritorious inventions.  A Community Patent Prize could become a lucrative and coveted prize to be won and an encouragement to patent.

Effect on Smaller Inventors

Do small inventors stand to suffer from this process? [top]

No, small inventions get equal consideration in the community patent review system. With a large number of peer reviewers submitting and reviewing prior art, more established inventors do not have an advantage. The peer review system increases competition among the inventors and improve quality for all issued patents. Smaller companies volunteered to participate in the Community Patent Review Pilot to the public launch by the USPTO.

Managing the Community Patent Review Pilot

How will the coordination of all the parties involved in the patent application review be managed? [top]

The Community Patent Review Pilot will have a well-designed system that allows participants to see clearly the community of which they are a part, their role within a group, how to participate simply and easily in the process, and how to see the outcome.  The peer review system will be designed in a way that makes participation open and easy while not overwhelming the examiner. 

Metrics

What are the metrics by The Community Patent Review Pilot will measure success? [top]

The key metrics of the Community Patent Review Pilot that will be collected can be viewed on the following link: http://www.communitypatent.org/project_docs/2006/10/metrics.html.

Additional information can be found in our First Anniversary Report.

Name of Project

What is the name of the project, pilot, and review system?  [top]

The project is called "The Community Patent Review Project, " the pilot is called "The Community Patent Review Pilot," and the software system is called the "Peer-to-Patent System."  The process has come to be referred to as "community patent," "open examination" or "open review."

Is there any relation to "The European Community Patent Project?"

No, there is no relation to The EPO's "European Community Patent," which is an initiative that allows applicants to obtain a unitary patent throughout the European Union.  While not related to European Community Patent, we encourage the use of the any of the other terms above.  As the project progresses, we may change the official name.

Non- Delegation

Does the Community Patent Review Project give decision making authority to non-governmental employees violate the non-delegation doctrine prohibiting delegation of authority to unauthorized parties? [top]

No, The Community Patent Review Project does not give decision making authority to non-governmental employees; The USPTO assigned patent examiner still decides whether to issue a patent to the applicant.  Thus, The ultimate decision-making authority continues to rest with the Patent Office and court system. 

Patent System, Effect on

Won't Peer-to-Patent decrease certainty and stability in the system? [top]

To the contrary, patents that undergo this process will be much less likely to be challenged subsequently because more experts will have vetted them.  Nothing about Community Patent Review changes substantive patent examination.  All participating patent applications will still be reviewed by a competent patent examiner.

Pendency

Will the review process delay patent examination and, possibly, patent issuance? [top]

Examination quality should not be sacrificed for pendency.  Fortunately, the expectation for the examiner to receive the references prior to examination on the merits.  There is a time limit for submitting prior art references to an examiner.  Prior art references are measured from the publication of the patent application.  Also, this project utilizes patents filed in Technology
Center 2100 (Computer Applications, Software, and Electronic Commerce) and Technology Center 3600 (Class 705 "Data Processing; Financial, Business Practice, Management, or Cost/Price Determination).  Patent application pendency in each of these categories is sufficiently long, making it highly unlikely that an examination on the merits will begin before Peer-to-Patent forwards the most relevant prior art references.   Lastly, the peer review process might actually reduce pendency by increasing examiner efficiency.  For example, the process might give the examiner all of the prior art needed to reject an application.

Pilot

What is the planned pilot for Community Patent Review at the USPTO? [top]

The USPTO pilot for open, community review was initially limited to 250 consenting patent applications in Technology Center 2100 (Computer Applications, Software, and Electronic Commerce). The pilot has been expanded to include up to 400 consenting applications, and Technology Center 3600 (Class 705) are now eligible in addition to TC2100. Click here for the USPTO press release.

Procedural Hurdles   

There will be procedural hurdles.  Would the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) prohibit Peer-to-Patent? [top]

FACA was enacted to protect against closed-door cabals leading to regulatory capture. All information in the Peer-to-Patent system will be open, on-line and available. With an increase in the use of juries ex post to review patent validity in infringement cases, why not use juries a priori?  We are simply moving up the jury review in the process but without imposing any added cost on the investor for that review.  If this constitutes a contravention of FACA, we'll amend FACA.

Project Governance    

What is the governance structure for the project?  [top]

Community Patent Review has a two-tier governance structure: (1) a Steering Committee, made up of lead patent counsel for major technology patent holders participating in the pilot, and (2) an Advisory Board, comprising independent voices representing a wide range of patent stakeholders and the public interest.  For a detailed list of participants, visit http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/participants.html.

New York Law School (founded in 1891) has lent its credibility and longstanding reputation in the legal community and financial support to the endeavor.  New York Law School is a neutral convening force and organized workshops with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, the Institute for Public Policy Research to inform the project.

The entire project will be open: the software will be open source and the project will be open to community participation.  We plan to maintain a "glass pipeline," full transparency about all our efforts in order to ensure maximum legitimacy and accountability as well as to benefit from the input of a wider array of stakeholders.

Privatization of CPR  

Can this process be privatized?  Could a consortium of companies run this system?  Can we "do patents" with contract law? [top]

The "Peer-to-Patent" system addresses how to engage private citizens and their expertise to contribute to improved review performance by a patent office. It accomplishes this by gathering, managing, monitoring, and delivering useful information in a manageable way. However, such a peer review process will be most effective and create the greatest incentive to participate if it is tied directly into the patent system and the laws and rules that govern it. Who is best equipped to provide this service is one of the questions the pilot and related work by the Center for Patent Innovations are intended to answer.

Prosecution History / File Wrapper

If we change the process what happens to the prosecution history and file wrapper estoppel?  How will a record be created for appeal? [top]

The "Peer-to-Patent" process is far more transparent than what exists currently.  With the entire process conducted online, it will be recorded and archived in entirety.  We will be better able to see the reasoning that went into a patent determination.  This creates a stronger, more robust, more informed and easily accesible record for review.  Rules will be developed to determine which portions of the peer review process are stored/documented as part of the prosecution history.  This will be done according to the current industry standards and commonly used technology for storing and archiving electronic legal records.

Rating and Reputation

How will the rating and reputation system work? [top]

We anticipate three types of rating/ranking/reputation activity (as described more in detail in the Use Case document):

a.       Ranking the claims of a patent application to identify the most relevant/representative ones.  Purpose/Goal: focus community attention and labor where most needed

b.       Ranking by peer reviewers of prior art submitted by the community in response to a patent application.  Purpose/Goal: create manageable and searchable output for patent examiner.

c.       Rating of community participant activity.  Purpose/Goal: to encourage the right kind of participation, and reward contributors according to the the value they bring to the process. Possible modes of rating/ranking:

1.       Automatically based on submission of prior art or comments;

2.       Rating by other participants of each other;

3.       Rating of members of reviewers by the patent examiner;

4.       Rating of members automatically based on the application of their prior art and commentary by the examiner in rejecting a claim;

For more details, please see http://www.communitypatent.org/project_docs/ratings_and_rankings/index.html.

Sign Up

I am interested in submitting patent applications.  How do I sign up? [top]

Applicants interested in participating in the Peer-to-Patent pilot are required to submit a signed "Applicant's Consent to Third-Party Comments in Published Applications and Consent to Pilot Participation" form available on the USPTO website at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/peerpriorartpilot/consent.pdf.

Mail the completed form and documents to:

Mail Stop Peer Pilot
Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

OR email a scanned copy of the completed form and documents to: PeerReviewPilot2007@USPTO.GOV.

The USPTO will determine if the consent and associated application meet all of the Office requirements for this pilot. If so, the Office will notify the applicant and Peer-to-Patent coordinates of the approval of the application for the pilot. If the consent and application do not meet all requirements, the applicant will be notified of the decision not to include the application in the pilot.

Approved applications will be posted on the Peer-to-Patent website within about 7 to 10 business days of publication and will be online for a total of about 12 to 18 weeks. At the end of the public review period, Peer-to-Patent sends the top 10 submitted prior art and the annotations to the USPTO for consideration by the examiner. Special preference is given to inventors with fewer than 25 patents. Details about the requirements can be found in the OG Notice here.

In addition, we request that you email us to let us know of your interest at applicant@peertopatent.org.

See also http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/signup.html.

Steering Committee

Who is on the Steering Committee for the project? [top]

Members of The Steering Committee: (as of June 21, 2007)

Adam Avrunin, Red Hat

Todd Dickinson, General Electric
(former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO)


Kaz Kazenske
, Microsoft
(former Deputy Commissioner, USPTO)

Steve Klozinski, CA

Patrick Patnode, General Electric

Matt Rainey, Intellectual Ventures

Curt Rose
, Hewlett Packard

Jim Saliba, CA

Manny Schecter
, IBM

System

How do I lookup someone by Affiliation? [top]

You can directly view users for any affiliation. There are two methods. Both methods are sensitive to the spelling so if a user wants to look up "NYLS" and "New York Law School," this would require two different lookups. Also, we are currently updating the search index manually. We will update it this evening so that it is completely up to date.

(1) Search

In the search box, enter New York Law School and click the "search" button

You will see this page:
http://www.peertopatent.org/patent/search?search_text=new+york+law+school

Click "User Profile" on the left and a list of matching profiles will be displayed.

(2) Link on affiliation

Find a profile that has New York Law School listed in the top "business card" section.

Example:
http://www.peertopatent.org/profile/319/show

In the profile, the primary Affiliation is a link, so you can click on that link to see everyone with the same affiliation.

Method 2 is the most simple and precise. Method 1 will catch any mention of NYLS in the profile. Method 2 will only search in the affiliation field.

Use Cases

What are Use Cases? [top]

Per  Wikipedia, a use case is a technique for capturing functional requirements of systems.  Each use case provides one or more scenarios that convey how the system should interact with the users (called actors) to achieve a specific business goal or function.  Use case actors may be end users or other systems.  Use cases typically avoid technical jargon, preferring, instead, the language of the end user or domain expert.  Use cases are often co-authored by business analysts and end users.  The Use Case model for this project can be found at http://www.communitypatent.org/use_cases.

Wiki or Blog

Is Community Patent Review a wiki?  Is it a blog?  What kind of application is it? [top]

The Community Patent Review is neither a wiki nor a blog. Rather, this is a software system for open peer review.  We are collaboratively building a knowledge environment about patents.  We will not edit patent applications but will, instead, collaborate to submit prior art and commentary to assist the patent examiner.  The system will be directly tied into patent office decision-making practices.  The aim of the system is to inform the patent examination process.  The aim of the pilot is to gather empirical data to determine if community input can improve the patent examination process and produce better quality patents.  Our broadest goal to develop a blueprint for mechanisms to increase the institutional competence of administrative agencies like the USPTO.