Crowdsourcing, which involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people largely via the Internet, could become a key part of the patent examination process, particularly given the increasing role of third parties.
Under provisions of the America Invents Act that took effect on September 16, third parties can identify prior art references to patent examiners in any given examination. The goal is to provide examiners with all of the information necessary to determine the novelty of a given application and to prevent the issuance of patents with overly broad claims.
As detailed by the USPTO, efforts are already underway in the private sector to use crowdsourcing to identify prior art. Stack Exchange recently launched one of the first initiatives, called Ask Patents, with the support of the USPTO. It allows subject-matter experts to volunteer to suggest prior art for given applications, as well as to offer their input on the proposed value of those suggestions from others.
“We encourage our nation’s innovators to follow Stack Exchange’s example and assist us as we improve the examination process and resulting patent quality that will drive our economy and create jobs and exports,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.
Our patent attorneys will be closely monitoring how crowdsourcing may impact the patent examination process. We encourage our readers to check back for additional updates.
At Sheldon Mak & Anderson, we recognize that innovation is your competitive edge - and it needs protection. As a nationally recognized and awarded full-service intellectual property firm with more than two decades of experience, we provide local, regional, national, and international legal services in the following areas: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, IP litigation, international patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, alternative dispute resolution, and green technology.
Contact our knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys today TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) or email us at email@example.com to find out how we can provide powerful protection for your unique ideas.