For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Peer-to-Patent: IPO and IPKat move fast

About one minute ago, the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) finally went public on the worst-kept secret since Ryan Giggs' alleged liaison with Imogen Thomas brought down Twitter.  Yes, the IPO is finally doing the honourable thing and launching its Peer-to-Patent (P2P) experiment.  According to the recently embargoed media release,
" ...  Peer to Patent is a review website which allows experts from the scientific and technology community to view and comment on patent applications. During the six month pilot up to 200 applications in the computing field will be gradually uploaded for review on the [P2P] website. These will include a range of inventions from computer mice to complex processor operations [Not much of a range, grumbles Merpel, if they're all to do with computers. What about genetically modified mice for use in the manufacture of catfood ...?]. 
Today [At one minute past midnight? The Kat marvels at the diligence of his IPO friends. Merpel hopes they're not being paid extra for working so late, because she isn't], the first group of applications have been uploaded to the Peer to Patent website (http://www.peertopatent.org.uk/) 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 Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Examiners will then consider these as part of the patent review process. 
Speaking about the launch in the UK today, Baroness Wilcox [Minister for Intellectual Property and another night-worker, it seems] said:  
Bed rock
“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. Peer to Patent is a step forward in supporting growth by reinforcing the patent bedrock on which innovative businesses thrive” [The IPKat likes the bit about reinforcing the patent bedrock and proposes to purr-loin it some time.  Merpel disagrees: the bedrock can't be much use if it needs reinforcement]. ....".
The IPKat is tremendously excited by this development, which he is sure will lead to greater things.  Merpel's a bit anxious though. On clicking through to the P2P site a short while before midnight, she couldn't help thinking that it looked just a wee bit, well, American (not that there's anything wrong with that).  She was however surprised to see this British site bearing such unexpected add-ons as a policy statement regarding violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a Code of Conduct which states:
"Thank you for participating in this historic experiment to submit information to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) that is relevant to the determination of patentability".

Meanwhile, closer to home and unashamedly parochial, the IPKat's own Peer-to-Patent seminar next Monday afternoon, 6 June, now has 47 good souls registered.  This little event will be free, fun and informative -- and there's still time to register if you don't take up too much room.  No need to bring a US passport: just email the IPKat here using the subject line PeerPat, and tell him you're coming.

8 comments:

Francis Davey said...

Not working this morning (7:23am) the site appears to be redirecting to itself (technically an HTTP 302 response with its own address as the target location). So http://www.ipo.gov.uk/peertopatent/ is accessible but that's as far as you get.

Maybe they get up early and read the IPKAT and felt moved to change the site in response, though teething seems more likely.

Tufty the Cat said...

"six month pilot"? 1 June to 31 December 2011. Hmmm. Let's hope they can examine patents better than they can count.

Nigel Hanley said...

Two quick points -

DMCA - the website is hosted in the US and we had to keep the DMCA warning. As you may be aware we are working with the New York Law School and they were required to keep the warning.

Code of Conduct - This appears to have been fixed - it seems that you had picked up the US version of the code of conduct. I have just accessed the website and the code of conduct is the UK version.

Francis Davey said...

Well, I seem to have been hit by some cookie problems, now solved, so ignore my earlier remark.

It looks interesting. A read of some of the earlier experiences of it suggest that it may be more useful than some naysayers have implied. Certainly I have encouraged experts to give it a go. I will be watching its development with interest.

Norman said...

The guest post by Nigel Hanley on Patently-O says "In common with the US and IP Australia pilots, the applications all come from the field of computing."

Tufty the Cat said...

But why are most of them from IBM? Are they offering the ones they are least bothered about for the project?

Anonymous said...

That site appears to be utterly crap.

Registration and everything, just in order to reveal something that is supposed to be public domain i the first place.

Apart from that patent titles reveal most to nothing. What I need to know is what my competitor filed for.

/Panes (thats not my name that's just the captcha)

Big Fat Red Tabby said...

Why would I bother? From the site I cannot see anything but a mere title. Show me info about my competitor!

Who am I helping anyway?

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