Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Crowdsourcing patent application review to capitalize on innovation

Ghafele, Roya and Gibert, Benjamin and DiGiammarino, Paul (2011): Crowdsourcing patent application review to capitalize on innovation. Published in: Journal of Intellectual Property Rights , Vol. 4, No. 16 (2011): pp. 303-308.

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Abstract

Worldwide filings of patent applications and the ensuing invalidation requests have seen staggering growth over the last decade. The result is increasing patent backlog, deteriorating patent quality and an uncertain economic environment. Patent application review is an integral part of the examination procedures undertaken by patent offices before a patent grant is given. Prior art search is a complex and time consuming part of this process. Crowdsourcing this critical stage is a valuable opportunity to render the patent application review process more efficient. This paper describes the crowdsourcing phenomenon and then details how it can aid patent review. The open source review pilot projects of the USPTO and JPO are presented in order to assess the potential of opening prior art search to the wider community of experts and practitioners. Public-private partnerships between patent offices and companies managing online review communities are proposed as a valuable opportunity to leverage the benefits of open review while providing sufficient incentives and quality assurances to yield useful contributions.

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