Currently, third-party input into patent issuance is quite limited. All input must be made by mail, within a two-month window, without commentary, at a cost of $180 per mailing. The patent examiner cannot respond to the commenter except to process the fee, and commenters are not allowed to discuss to which aspects of the invention their prior art pertains. The comment process is not very popular; there were less than one hundred comments filed in 2005. The procedure is quite different in other countries, especially in those that use a registration model rather than a validation model. In Japan, there is a post-grant opposition procedure in which patents can be ruled invalid based on comments from the public. In the European Patent Community, there is a period of time in which patents can be challenged before they take full effect. Although the post-grant opposition documents are open to the public, no countries currently have an online system for review of post-grant applications. In a way, CPR can be viewed as a step toward harmonizing world patent systems, in that it provides a mechanism for pre-grant review that is similar to other nations’ post-grant review procedures and also provides a possible prototype for future post-grant processes. In addition, as mentioned by Silicon Valley intellectual property attorney Judith Hom, United States trademark law has post-grant opposition procedures similar to CPR. In this way, CPR can also be viewed as a step toward harmonizing these currently disparate aspects of domestic intellectual property law.
With CPR-rated patents, applications will be posted online during the pre-grant review period and will be viewable by the public, who can then comment on the patents and submit prior art. Everyone can view these comments, and commenters themselves will be rated for their contribution. The top ten comments, ranked according to an algorithm designed by Paul Resnick, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, will be submitted to the USPTO. CPR software uses current “best of breed” practices of the internet, including eBay.com’s reputation ranking system (to rank both the contributions of reviewers and the reviewers themselves), Amazon.com’s collaborative filtering (e.g., “people who submitted prior art for this patent also read Patent X”), Wikipedia’s flexibility of editing (for patent comments), and the common “Web 2.0” feature of tagging items with colloquial terms in a “folksonomy” to promote easier access to information (e.g., “a device classified under Class 438 Semiconductor Device Manufacturing might be tagged as a ‘chip’”). The system will also allow a variety of participation options, with a varying level of commitment, including “rating patent claims, submitting examples of prior art, commenting on prior art submissions, ranking prior art submissions, and rating other contributors.” The system would not include a direct way to contact the examiner, as current law does not allow examiners to communicate directly with the public, but could theoretically open the door to more collaborative processes in the future.
IPBiz notes the following posts on IPBiz which might be contemplated:
Separately, one notes the article Inadvertent Argument Against Peer-to-Patent
UPDATE (to be filed under "snore"):
IPBiz got an email which included the text-->
IBM has a processor patent application posted on the Peer to Patent site (http://www.peertopatent.org) which has only 13 days remaining and no prior art posted! We would like to invite reviewers to submit prior art and annotations on this application and are asking for your assistance in helping us to identify bloggers, organizations, or individuals who may have a special interest in the topic of this application. IBM’s application (#20070220238) for a dynamic readjustment and interpolation of progress in the execution of multi-step program by a computing device is posted on the Peer-to-Patent site here - http://peertopatent.org/patent/20070220238/activity.