New York Law School Launches Patent Peer Review Project

Monday, January 1, 2007 - 01:00

The Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School has announced that companies holding more than 6 percent of the total number of this year's patents will submit their patent applications for 'open peer review' under a pilot project at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

GE, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Red Hat, the Lead Sponsors of the 'Community Patent Review' initiative, will allow some of their patent applications to be reviewed by the public and consent to have public commentary submitted directly to the USPTO for official consideration. The pilot will launch in early 2007 and focus on published but not-yet-granted patent applications relating to computer software.

The Community Patent Review pilot is a project of the New York Law School Institute for Information Law & Policy in collaboration with the USPTO that aims to improve the quality of issued patents by giving the patent examiner access to better information by means of an open network for community peer review of patent applications.

Selected by the USPTO as one of its strategic initiatives, Community Patent Review will deploy an online system to allow the scientific community to submit 'prior art' - information relevant to assessing if an invention is patentable - with commentary to the patent examiner. The project is developing a deliberation methodology and technology to allow community rating, ranking and processing of prior art and feedback from patent examiners.

The Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School will be responsible for overall administration of the pilot project in partnership with the USPTO.