Peer Review

March 23rd, 2009 by Ilya Marritz

Crowdsourcing meets…patent law. Businessweek dissects the Peer-to-Patent Community Patent Review Pilot, a project of New York Law School.

[W]hy do many leading corporations support an initiative that appears designed to surface more information to challenge patent applications? In short, Peer-to-Patent offers the potential to deliver stronger, more litigation-proof patents in shorter time and lower cost. By increasing transparency at the outset and surfacing potential issues regarding prior art earlier, this process can preempt very costly litigation down the road. In an important way, Peer-to-Patent becomes a powerful insurance program to mitigate risk of patent challenges.

The hard work of slogging through “prior art” (earlier work that may be similar or relevant) is done by law students and volunteers. The project was recently re-upped and has the support of General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and, critically, the U.S. Patent Office.

Who says government can’t innovate?

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