The USPTO recently announced that it will be cooperating with New York Law School to expand its Peer-to-Patent review program. The Peer-to-Patent program seeks to improve the quality of issued patents by providing an opportunity for volunteer experts in the applicable field to review new applications, suggest prior art, and provide comments on points of novelty in view of the art. The review process occurs online using social media software that allows and encourages discussion among the volunteers. Once the review process is complete, Peer-to-Patent applications are moved to the head of an examiner’s queue, along with the ten highest rated prior art submissions from the Peer-to-Patent volunteers. The written comments and discussion provided by the volunteers during the review process are not sent to the examiner, but he or she is able to read the comments on the Peer-to-Patent website during examination of the application. The expanded program will accept an additional 1000 new applications for peer review and will include additional art units.
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