Contact: Alta Levat, 212.431.2325, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, May 12, 2006--The Community Patent Initiative at New York Law
announced today that its director, Professor Beth Noveck, along with
representatives from IBM, will present an overview of the Community Patent
Review pilot project at a briefing hosted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO) on Friday, May 12, 2006, 9:00-12:00, at the Madison
Auditorium, USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. (www.uspto.gov)
The Community Patent Review Pilot, currently under consideration by the USTPO, would provide an online peer review system for patent applications designed to ensure that patent examiners have access to the most pertinent information when determining if an invention is patentable.
The pilot project is an initiative of the USPTO with support from the private sector, including the Community Patent Initiative at New York Law School and IBM.
Professor Beth Noveck, Director of the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School, commented: "The Community Patent Review pilot project would bolster USPTO's decision-making capabilities by allowing experts from around the globe to submit relevant information, known as prior art. The project would take advantage of collaborative, web-based technologies to build a peer review system. Reviewers would receive notification of patents in areas of their expertise and would collaboratively identify the patent application's most important claims, and then submit relevant information online. Peer reviewers would then rank these submissions so that patent examiners can review the prior art deemed most relevant by the community."
IBM announced in January patent quality initiatives it is undertaking with the USPTO, Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), members of the open source software community and academia that is focused on improving U.S. patent quality. The partnership between these parties to improve patent quality will help accelerate innovation in the United States. As one of the elements of the patent quality initiative, IBM is the first corporation that has committed to consent to community peer review of published patent applications owned by the company by allowing third parties to submit commentary explaining the relevance of the prior art they provide to the patent office.
"High-quality patents increase certainty around intellectual property rights, reducing contention and freeing resources to focus on innovation," said David Kappos, Vice President, Intellectual Property Law, IBM. "Our work with Professor Noveck and the USPTO strives to increase patent quality by bringing to bear the entire community of technology experts to help bring the most relevant information to the attention of the patent office for its use in evaluating applications."
Designed by dozens of experts in consultative workshops at Harvard, Stanford, New York Law School, University of Michigan and elsewhere, "the proposed pilot program would be unlike any other reform effort because it deals directly with the examination process, providing important information to examiners before the patents are even issued," added Professor Noveck.
"Knowing that peers will review their work will encourage patent filers to thoroughly research and meticulously present their applications, creating better quality patents," according to Professor Noveck. The current system tries to correct the problem of inappropriate patent applications after the fact through litigation. Like preventative health care, the peer system may discourage flawed applications from even getting to the filing point. The pilot program, says Noveck, will determine "if and how community peer review works."
About the Community Patent Review:
Developed by New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy and sponsored by IBM, the Community Patent Review seeks to design and pilot an online system for peer review of patents that will enable innovation experts to inform the patent examination procedure. The Project will support a network of experts to advise the Patent Office on prior art and longer term to assist with patentability determinations. The goal of the Project is to help patent examiners find the right references and eventually to have access to those who can advise on how to combine them. This will help to improve the quality of those inventions awarded a patent, thereby making it easier to protect inventors' investments while safeguarding the marketplace of ideas. (http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent)
About the Institute for Information Law and Policy:
The Institute for Information Law and Policy is New York Law School's home for the study of law, technology, and civil liberties. Participants in the Institute aim not only to understand the interplay of law and technology, but to influence its development. The Institute develops and applies theories of information and communication to analyze law and policy. It also seeks to design new technologies and systems that will best serve democratic values in the digital age. The Institute is, above all, a "do tank" where lawyers innovate, harnessing the new tools of information and communications to the goals of social justice. Taking full advantage of its New York location, the Institute convenes people across disciplines and institutions in pursuit of its goals and exposes students to the best of the legal, technology and design communities.
About New York Law School:
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city's centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School's renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the school's strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The school is noted for its six academic centers: Justice Action Center, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center on Business Law & Policy, Institute for Information Law and Policy, and the Center for International Law. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and enrolls some 1500 students in its full- and part-time J.D. program and its Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation program.