ATRIP Intellectual Property series
Edited by Graeme B. Dinwoodie
Chapter 15: Can a culture of crowdsourcing be harnessed to enhance the validity and narrow the scope of issued patents? The peer-to-patent pilots
The genesis of the Peer-to-Patent [P2P] movement can be traced to the United States where Professor Beth Simone Noveck, the New York Law School and IBM collaborated to develop the software system subsequently used in the American and Australian pilots and which formed the basis for the British pilot implementation. The P2P movement also characterizes itself as “prior art collaboration.”The connection between the two self-references for the same movement, the first one involving “peer” and the second involving “collaboration,” lies in the nature of patent. In order to be certain that a patent is being given on an idea which is neither old nor obvious “to a person skilled in the art or science to which it pertains,” it is necessary that patent office examiners ascertain what “prior art” exists in the field of the alleged invention. The notions of “peers” and “collaboration” in the P2P movement are references to the novel ways in which those in the related field might be mobilized to assist the patent examiners in locating relevant prior art. The “peers” are peers of the patent applicant, those who are active in the same field.
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