Peer-to-Patent hits Australia

The IPKat has discovered that one of his favourite concepts, Peer-to-Patent (see earlier posts here and here), has reached the fair and lovely land of Australia. Ben McEniery (Peer-to-Patent Australia Project Manager and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology) tells him as follows:
"Following on from the Peer-to-Patent projects run recently out of the New York Law School (NYLS) and the JPO comes Peer-to-Patent Australia. Peer-to-Patent Australia is a joint initiative of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and IP Australia that is designed to improve the patent examination process and the quality of issued patents.

Peer-to-Patent Australia is the result of the collaborative efforts of QUT and NYLS. The project will initially run as a 6-month pilot that will focus on the rapidly advancing technology areas of business methods and computer software. Up to 40 business method, computer software and related patent applications that have been filed in Australia and which are open for public inspection will each be posted on the Peer-to-Patent Australia website for a 90-day period. During that time, members of community can review those applications, submit prior art references and comment on the relevance of any prior art that has been put forward.

At the end of the review period, Peer-to-Patent Australia will forward the top 10 prior art submissions for each application, as selected by the community of reviewers, to IP Australia for consideration in the examination process. The review process in no way abrogates the responsibility of the patent examiner to assess a patent application. Prior art submitted by Peer-to-Patent Australia is solely designed to assist a patent examiner, who remains the arbiter of whether a patent is to be granted.

The project uses a consent based model. Patent applicants will be asked to consent to having their applications included in the pilot. There are currently seven applicants who have consented to participate. These are IBM, Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited, General Electric Company, Hewlett-Packard, Residex Pty Ltd, Yahoo and CSIRO. Those applicants have put forward 18 patent applications for peer review. 15 of those will be made available at the launch.

For those of you who would like to participate in the prior-art-search, sign up here".
Peer-to-Patent Australia launched today, Wednesday 9 December 2009, and the IPKat fervently wishes it luck!

Australian inventions here, here and (not for the faint-hearted) here
Peer-to-Patent hits Australia Peer-to-Patent hits Australia Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Peer-to-patent put the finger on problems at the heart of the US patent crisis: info deficit and problems of prior art search.

    However I found that the main problem with this system in USA is that it benefits mostly those who already benefit the most from the current patent system...companies with large patent portofolios and enough money to face costly litigation.

    In my opinion private inventors and SMEs should be favoured to participate. But they are often ignorant of such developments in the patent area...More communication needed?

  2. Peer-to-patent helps everybody. It helps large, medium and small enterprises, by making granted patent rights more certain and reducing uncertainty surrounding freedom to operate.

    There is no barrier to SMEs participating. Do you know of any that might be interested in putting forward an application to be peer reviewd?


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