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July 11, 2009

Peers on Hiatus

The Peer-to-Patent pilot project is now closed. From the Peer-to-Patent website:

The USPTO has closed the Peer-to-Patent pilot and is no longer accepting new applications. Applications already in the system will continue to be processed.

More than 70 applications still await review, and it is rumored that the program is only temporarily closed - until a full evaluation of the impact of the project can be performed.

InformationWeek has further details.

Previous Prospector coverage of Peer-to-Patent: Anti-Submarine, Peer-to-Petering Out, Peer-to-Pissant.

Posted by Mr. Platinum at July 11, 2009 9:40 AM | The Patent Office


I am curious to see a full report on the impact of the program. The program has the benefit of reviewing patents to ensure that they are legitimate and truly novel. In this way, the program may have been strengthening patents and avoiding the issuance of overly broad or non-unique innovations.

For more on patents, see GeneralPatent.com

Posted by: Josh K22 at July 12, 2009 9:55 PM

Josh K22,

If as you indicate, the program was beneficial in these important ways, what is your opinion on why the program has been put on the shelf?

Posted by: breadcrumbs at July 13, 2009 5:20 AM

Come on! Beneficial in important ways??? My analysis some time back concluded the average application had (something like) less than two references cited, some small number (one to two) inane comments, etc. Take a look at the site under all applications - peer-to-patent was the failure everyone in the know knew it would have to be.

Posted by: The Mad Prosecutor at July 13, 2009 6:43 AM

Mad Prosecutor,

I am not holding that the program was a success (or a failure), or even doomed to failure. I am trying to understand why Josh K22 sees beneift to the program, and why such he feels such benefts have not been realized with the program's closure.

Posted by: breadcrumbs at July 13, 2009 7:37 AM

I have worked with very sophisticated inventors that have numerous patents and most of them either do not understand claims or are not willing to put in the hard work to analyze the claims. I was skeptical that the peer-to-patent program would not have the same problems. If the program did have the same problems it most likely just added to the work load of the examiner.

Posted by: Dale B. Halling at July 16, 2009 8:59 AM

Even your average examiner at the USPTO does not understand claims (I said "average", not "all" -some examiners are actually very astute), so how could one have hoped for average lay persons to undestand claims, understand rules for formulating a prima facie case of unpatetntability and then understand how to articulate the latter properly?

I suppose if one is an ivory-tower-residing law professor, one can dream of such a utopian possibility.

p.s. Patent Hawk, Have you really quit for good?

Posted by: step back at July 16, 2009 11:59 PM

Dear Mr. Flynt,



Posted by: 6000 at July 19, 2009 8:40 PM

I received many letters from the USPTO about joining the pilot program... they apparently had about 5000 slots or some other huge number and only got 70 people to join the program. I'm really not sure what the benefit for an applicant would be, so I didn't counsel any of my clients to go for it... for a 6 month quicker OA (or so they claimed it would be), my client would have his application scrutinized much more than otherwise? No thanks.

Posted by: Michael Feigin, Patent Attorney at July 21, 2009 6:49 AM

Peer to patent is a plattitude. Any serious third party could always submit art against a published application.

Its just a way to try appease the idiot public like Josh K22 whose name means that he has been in Kindergarten for 22 years.

Posted by: Blimpy at July 21, 2009 2:01 PM

I have an application that went through the P2P program. In my experience it was a complete waste. The P2P panel submitted into the record a document that does not qualify as prior art under 102(a). They attached a cover sheet to the document and typed their own date on the cover sheet. I still don't know whether this was intentional fraud or simple cluelessness.

The case is not on appeal on the issue of whether the document is available as prior art.

Posted by: OldTimer at August 10, 2009 7:56 AM