Just yesterday the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Stack Exchange and Google announced a completely new move to try and bring an end to all of these broad and overzealous patents before they can used to cause harm to companies. A change in the United States patent laws went into effect this month that will allow the USPTO to accept comments and evidence regarding prior art and obviousness from third parties when going through and evaluating various patent applications. Before the change to this law, the USPTO could not accept any sort of third party information.
To make the entire process a bit easier, both Stack Exchange and Google has teamed up to help the USPTO with this new effort. Stack Exchange has been also beta testing a forum where users will be able to discuss and identify and issues with the patents. So in a way, it’s community driven. Using this platform, users will be able to go through a find a listing of patents that were submitted for error, submit examples of evidence of prior art, and also discuss the validity of the submitted patent. Once a patent has been vetted, users will be able to submit the records to the USPTO for consideration during their reviewing of the applications. You can visit this platform and help with the debunking by heading over to patents.stackexchange.com
To help with this effort from Stack Exchange, Google has been able to modify their patent search site to show links to the different Stack Exchange discussion regarding any patents that come up in the different search results.
Staff Exchange’s chief of staff Alex Miller is calling this process “Discover, Discuss and Document.” There’s no reward for busting a patent, so it really is just a volunteer service, Miller has indicated that they are considering some different ways to help recognize individuals who help bust a patent though. The implementation of a crowdsourcing solution for reviewing patents grew out of an experiment that originally started all the way back in 2007 called Peer to Patent, which showed that this method of review was very effective.
The only downside to this that I see right now is that this will only be applying to new patent applications going forward. Older applications will not be reconsidered, which is unfortunate as companies will most likely continue to abuse the system. It’s pretty ridiculous that we even need to do this, I for one am all for a complete revamp of the entire patent system, because this has been getting ridiculous. At the very least, I’m happy the USPTO is working with Stack Exchange and Google to make an effort.
source: talk android