Patent Review Innovation

Michael Crichton wrote an essay critical of the current patent law: This Essay Breaks the Law. I believe the US is making significant mistakes in how we are proceeding with the patent system, see: The Patent System Needs to be Significantly Improved.

A recent article from Money offers an interesting idea (to try anyway) for one part of the problem. Patent review goes Wiki

That’s the basic concept behind a pilot program sponsored by IBM (Charts) and other companies, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appears poised to green-light. The project would apply an advisory version of the wiki approach to the patent-approval process.

It is also an example of an interesting potential innovation.

Corporate sponsors including IBM, Microsoft (Charts), and Hewlett-Packard (Charts) will make a total of 250 to 400 software patents available for the pilot.

Says the commissioner for patents, John Doll: “We’re just trying to put the finishing touches on the details before we roll it out to the [head of the Patent and Trademark Office] and get the final approval to move ahead.”

Noveck thinks the test could launch early in 2007. If successful, the approach could then be implemented throughout the patent office.

A good plan because while I think this idea is potentially worthwhile, in practice it might not prove to be worthwhile.


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