As the name implies, Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent takes the same community-based approach to peer review, but in this case, for issued patents. During the last decade the USPTO was at times overwhelmed by the number of patent applications being filed in areas of new technology, such as software and business methods. Lacking access to comprehensive prior art in these subject matter areas, the USPTO had little choice but to grant patents that would otherwise have failed the test of patentability had that prior art been before the examiner. For a variety of reasons, both holders of those patents and third-parties may wish to have such patents evaluated against a more rigorous search for prior art. The rigor is provided by the community of peer reviewers who elect to participate in the review.
By providing the platform and mechanism for the gathering of post-issue prior art, the Center seeks to provide a means of improving knowledge about issued patents. Are such patents valid? Are they overbroad in their claims? Do they relate to subsequently developed technology? With this improved knowledge, industry participants can be more certain as to the metes and bounds of such patents, and such clarity works to provide a more efficient marketplace for innovation.
You can find more information about Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent at www.post-issue.org.