A new online tool to help improve the patent application process was launched by the UK Intellectual Property Office today.
Peer To Patent is a review website that allows experts from the scientific and technology community to view and comment on patent applications.
The Peer To Patent pilot went live today, and during the next six months up to 200 applications in the computing field would be uploaded for review on the website. They would include a range of inventions from computer mice, to complex processor operations.
The first group of applications have been uploaded to the Peer To Patent site and are now open for review by registered users for three months. Following this, the system will create a summary of the comments which will be sent to a Patent Examiner at the IPO. Examiners will then consider these as part of the patent review process.
Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said: “Patent applications granted after using the Peer To Patent website review will be potentially stronger, giving businesses better protection to grow their innovative ideas. This will give the IPO access to a wider body of knowledge when deciding whether a patent should be granted.
“The pilot will give experts the opportunity to comment on patent applications and share their vital expertise before patents are granted. It will also mean that inventions already known in the wider community will be filtered out more readily.”
Douglas Rankin, Patent Attorney at Marks & Clerk LLP, said: “This is a welcome development that should go some way to improving the general quality of patents granted by the IPO.
“There are clear advantages to applying the principles of social media to the patent application system; Patent Examiners can have a rather lonely job, and despite their own technical backgrounds will greatly benefit from access to additional expert views and knowledge they would not otherwise have when assessing an application.”
The UK pilot follows similar successful trials in the US and Australia.