Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Just Complain About Poor Patent Quality...

...do something about it. Here's your chance. About a year ago, the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) had a "Peer-to-Patent" program where pending applications were made available at the USPTO website. The Office was interested in understanding prior art relevant to the patent and took input from the public. At that time, the patents were limited to those in software and other technologies far removed from our beloved polymers. For reasons unknown, the program was ultimately discontinued.

However, it was just announced that it is being relaunched and this time will have applications quite different than in the past, including organic chemistry. I can't guarantee that there will be some polymer related applications, but it certainly would not be surprising if there were. If I do see anything, I'll be sure to mention it.

The biggest complaints about patents (overlooking the whole controversy about whether they help or stifle innovation in the first place) are that the prior art is never properly searched, thereby allowing patents to issue that never should have. By opening up the prior art searching to what would be effectively the whole world, it is hoped that the quality would be improved.

No comments: