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Internet Review for Patents Goes Live

Alan Sipress

After months of anticipation, the agency responsible for issuing patents has started opening its doors to the Internet, launching a wiki-like review process for patent applications.

As of last Friday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office began allowing applicants for patents -- specifically in computer technology -- to post their proposed inventions on line. The pilot review program, organized by New York Law School's Institute for Information and Policy, permits technical experts to submit annotated information that could help decide whether the invention deserves a patent.

The final decision will continue to rest with the agency's own patent examiners. But Jon Dudas, the agency's director, said his examiners make the best decisions when they have the best information.

If the year-long experiment is successful, it could be extended to patent applications in fields outside computer technology.

By Alan Sipress  |  June 18, 2007; 2:16 PM ET  | Category:  Alan Sipress
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