Title: Using social networking methods for analysis of patent prior art: the peer-to-patent experiment

Authors: Frank Peo, Daniel Lorence, Robert Jameson, James Chin, Luis Gonzales

Addresses: Center for Technology Assessment, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Center for Technology Assessment, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Center for Technology Assessment, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Center for Technology Assessment, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Center for Technology Assessment, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: The burgeoning backlog of patent applications at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has created an urgent need for Office reform. Review of related application reference material, or prior art, is a necessary but time consuming step in the patent process. As a pilot project, the USPTO initiated the use of social networking software as a means to facilitate discussion amongst groups of volunteer review experts. The peer-to-patent pilot project allows experts outside the patent office to upload prior art references, participate in discussion forums, rate other user submissions and add research references to pending applications. This may help examiners to better focus their review on the submission of prior art that has the highest relevance to an application and thus streamline the overall application process.

Keywords: intellectual property; patents; social networking; network analysis; prior art; peer-to-patent; US Patent and Trademark Office; USPTO; discussion forums.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2009.023435

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2009 Vol.8 No.1, pp.88 - 97

Available online: 23 Feb 2009 *

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