Is Crowdsourcing Becoming Part of the Patent Examination Process?

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 in 2012, 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.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s