Peer to Patent aims to address this by encouraging the public to review patents, to determine whether they are valid based on the at-large expert knowledge about what has already been invented and what is a new, useful, nonobvious invention. IBM has agreed to have its patents vetted by the public as a guinea pig in the project.
Project founder Beth Novacek sez,
This Friday, May 12, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a briefing on the community patent peer review project.Link (Thanks, Beth!)
The May 12 briefing will be hosted by John Doll, Commissioner for Patents, USPTO, and Jay Lucas, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.
The purpose of the May 12, 2006 briefing is to provide greater in-depth analysis of the peer review pilot project as well as answer the question of what constitutes valid prior art.
The represents a kick-off of the peer review project and the effort to move from proposal to working prototype with a launch at the beginning of 2007.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.