Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

USPTO Peer Review Process To Begin Soon

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the it's-like-every-einstein's-dream-come-true dept.

United States 116

An anonymous reader writes "As we've discussed several times before on Slashdot, the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents. It's nowhere near as open as Wikipedia, but there are still numerous comparisons drawn to the well-known project in this Washington Post story. Patent office officials site the huge workload their case officers must deal with in order to handle the modern cycle of product development. Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees. 'The tremendous workload has often left examiners with little time to conduct thorough reviews, according to sympathetic critics. Under the pilot project, some companies submitting patent applications will agree to have them reviewed via the Internet. The list of volunteers already contains some of the most prominent names in computing, including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, as well as IBM, though other applicants are welcome.'"

cancel ×

116 comments

Oh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18235764)

You must mean 'cite'.

Or, Being THERE ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18235824)

WRT Title: "SPTO Peer Review Process To Being Soon"

Chancey "I like to watch T.V." Gardner

Re:Or, Being THERE ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236328)

"being" -> "be starting"

Re:Oh... (0, Offtopic)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237044)

No, the headline was written by Mujibar [netfunny.com] ....

while they are at it... (2, Funny)

eokyere (685783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235770)

... maybe they could start peer reviewing /. titles too

Re:while they are at it... (0, Offtopic)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235786)

At least being has all the right letters... just not in the right order.

Re:while they are at it... (-1, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235850)

With apologies to Cole Porter [wikipedia.org]

Re:while they are at it... (3, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237414)

> Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees.

332,000 / 4000 = 83 patents per year per employee.

83 / 2000 hours/year = 0.0415 patents per hour, or about 24 hours per patent.

Granted, a number of employees are secretaries and useless managers, but they should be pushing the bulk of the boilerplate anyway, leaving the examiners to devote most of their time to actual examining.

I call shenanigans* !

* shenanigan n Standard government waste.

Re:while they are at it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18238512)

I swear to God I'm going to pistol whip the next guy who says "shenanigans"

Re:while they are at it... (-1, Offtopic)

Digital Avatar (752673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236042)

To being, or not to being, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler on the Net to suffer
The poor spelling and dupes of lazy editors,
Or to take arms against a sea of stupidity,
And by opposing end them?[1]

Sorry, but a simple mistake like this doesn't deserve more than that.

[1] The editors, of course, and by extension their lack of edits. :)

Patent ratings!! (5, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236270)

... maybe they could start peer reviewing /. titles too
Nah.... We'd be much better off if the USPTO followed our example and started giving anonymous members of the public the ability to assign mod-points to patents. People could express their approval of a patent with ratings like: '+1 Innovative', '+1 Ingenious' while particularly silly patents would get a rating of: '+1 Funny'. As for disapproval, it could be expressed with ratings like: '-1 Prior Art' or the somewhat more forceful: '-1 WTF!?!' and let's not forget the indispensable: '-1 Patent troll'. Just imagine how much fun we could all have with a system like that!

Re:Patent ratings!! (2, Interesting)

mateub (146588) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239184)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) wrote:

We'd be much better off if the USPTO followed our example and started giving anonymous members of the public the ability to assign mod-points to patents.
In fact, the WaPo article sounds to me like the USPTO intends something much closer to Slashdot than a Wiki:

The Patent and Trademark Office is starting a pilot project that will not only post patent applications on the Web and invite comments but also use a community rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top of the file, for serious consideration by the agency's examiners.
I've been surprised not to see a comment about this "pushed to the top of the file" here.


adéu,
Mateu

Re:Patent ratings!! (1)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240968)

And now that Slashdot has heard of it, Microsoft will never receive another patent again.

Re:while they are at it... (-1, Offtopic)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236432)

Slashdot To Process Review Subject Article Coherency!

You are invited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236902)

... to take a drink from the patenthose?

well.. (3, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235776)

How about some common sense. For one thing the applications are overly complex if you ask me. I bet amazons one-click patent app was over ten pages. You read ten pages on making a one-click-super-ecommerce-solution and you might think it was a complex patentable idea. Well, maybe you wouldnt but someone there does.

Re:well.. (-1, Troll)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235856)

It would be a lot easier to just close the Patent Office. Patents only serve to limit competition and inhibit the advance of science and commerce.

Re:well.. (4, Insightful)

Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236030)

No they don't.

The purpose of patent protection is to grant the right of a person who comes up with something great to profit from it.

Without such protections, someone would invent something and then die of starvation before seeing any kind of profit. While he is trying to produce his invention, some megacorp would take his idea and put it in mass production and beat him to his own market. The inventor would be left with jack because noone would have to pay him to produce his innovation for themselves.

That may be what it was supposed to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236062)

But what it's doing now is stopping progress.

Re:well.. (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236150)

to grant the right of a person who comes up with something great to profit from it.

      Yes because clicking a mouse button in order to buy something is a fabulous idea - the inventor should earn 3.0 x 10^11 dollars for that.

someone would invent something and then die of starvation before seeing any kind of profit.

      Yes because one click shopping is the only thing that made Amazon what it is today - if it wasn't for their patent on one click shopping, Amazon surely would have gone out of business by now.

While he is trying to produce his invention, some megacorp would take his idea and put it in mass production and beat him to his own market.

      Yes, thank God that the "megacorps" don't steal/buy patent ideas for pennies on the dollar, and then put them into mass production, and use the threat of litigation to keep everyone else out of the market. Patents are used exclusively by the little guy to defend himself from these huge entities. /sarcasm

      HELLO? Exactly which world are you living in? Your points are completely invalid due to the very abuses of the patent system that need to be corrected. As it currently stands, the patent system is NOT doing its job but getting in the way of progress since you can't come up with something new without risking some sort of litigation from someone with ambiguous patent claims.

      Perhaps getting rid of them all together WOULD be a step in the right direction. That way we go back to trade secrets - you have a great idea, you keep your mouth shut, develop it, and try to be better than the other guy when competition arrives.

Thats not the same thing (5, Interesting)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236390)

His points defend the principle of patents. You are attacking certain abuses of the patent system. These are different arguments. I believe in democracy as a principle, but if 51% of the country voted that black people should be tortured, I would be against it. I'm in favour of the principle of the free market, but if some people lie starving in the street because they have no job or skills, I'm against that.
Patents are like anything else, there are abuses of the system, and extremes that can be cited, but in principle, we are better off with patents and copyright than we would be without them. The problematic cases and implementations need fixing, but don't throw out the whole system because parts of it need work.
It's easy to say "do away with it all". Its much harder to say what you would replace it with.

Re:Thats not the same thing (-1, Troll)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237000)

I'm in favour of the principle of the free market, but if some people lie starving in the street because they have no job or skills, I'm against that.


Meh, you should stick to your principles. Those people lying starving in the street could serve a useful purpose very easily, if they chose only to lie down in potholes.

See, the free market does provide a solution to everything -- and rather than businesses choosing to pay to fix potholes because it's in their best interest to have good streets (which I always felt was unlikely to occur anyway), there is a far simpler solution that you, sir, should be proud of coming up with.

Re:Thats not the same thing (1, Offtopic)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237736)

The people lying and starving in the street do serve a very useful purpose.

If we are protected from the consequences of stupid decisions (such as giving a young girl who gets pregnant her own apartment and a monthly check- and freedom from her family) then people will engage in that stupid decision until the system breaks (hence welfare reform under a democratic president in the late 90's).

It sucks that deer will eat until there is no food and then starve to death. But if you put out food for them, it doesn't solve the problem.

Re:Thats not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239716)

So when her father beats and rapes her, her mother and her siblings so she gets pregnant, she should rather stay at home with her father who likes to shout about how good a Christian he is so his daughter cannot be seen going to an abortion clinic so he performs the abortion with a chainsaw, you are supporting it?

Humans are not completely independent from one another, they interact. People don't lie starving in the streets because they are too lazy, but because the rich fucks who made their money on their backs fire them to make more money, so there is no job to go to.

Ah, of course, they can go and make up their own business. After all, if they fail with it, it has to be their own fault, not a lack of demand.

Your analogy with the deer is quite to the point, but I would want to add several points:

For one, when you demand that everyone should work even if there is no need (why do you think there is marketing? Because people are forced to work if they want to survive, even if there is no work which needs to be done - or rather, the work which needs to be done will not be paid for), it is a collosal waste of ressources which could be allocated better.

Secondly, what else are you going to do with the food you have? Burning it and paying the food makers to make less food, it seems. If there were an actual lack of ressources, it might be reasonable to let them starve, but as a matter of fact since the advent of industrialization and automatization there is a severe overproduction in the industrialized world which leads to less work, meaning people starving on the streets - not because they do not want to work, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WORK AND YET YOU SAY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T WORK, HE MAY NOT LIVE.

Thus, they do not die because of consequences of their actions, but BECAUSE YOU MURDERED THEM.

Re:Thats not the same thing (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240170)

Took me a while to reply since it wasn't clear you were joking or not.

Father raping and beating-- okay it happens. How many girls who slept with boys and got pregnant are we going to support? How many children with no family that grow up to be completely unproductive members of society are we going to support? There's a limit and we hit it so hard in the 90's that even the liberals said "no mas".

---
>Humans are not completely independent from one another, they interact. People don't lie starving in the streets because they are too lazy, but because the rich fucks who made their money on their backs fire them to make more money, so there is no job to go to.
---

It's both. Some people lie starving in the street because they are incredibly lazy. Some folks are very unfortunate and get screwed over by rich people. When ever we start to help the screwed over ones, the lazy ones start to bogart the aid. The more we let the lazy one's bogart the aid, the more people become lazy. A lot of the hippie culture in california existed because they got free government money. Perfectly able 20 year olds made the "rational" choice- have sex, drugs, and free money vs get a job, married, and earn your own pay (while paying for all those hippies having fun).

---
>Your analogy with the deer is quite to the point, but I would want to add several points:

For one, when you demand that everyone should work even if there is no need (why do you think there is marketing? Because people are forced to work if they want to survive, even if there is no work which needs to be done - or rather, the work which needs to be done will not be paid for), it is a collosal waste of ressources which could be allocated better.
---

This is in fact a huge crisis just ahead of us that I raise regularly and people poo poo my concerns. We are coming to an age where (via machine labor) you really don't have to work as long as you don't want the "finer" things of life. It could be paradise, or it could be hell on earth depending on how we make the transition.

---
>Secondly, what else are you going to do with the food you have? Burning it and paying the food makers to make less food, it seems. If there were an actual lack of ressources, it might be reasonable to let them starve, but as a matter of fact since the advent of industrialization and automatization there is a severe overproduction in the industrialized world which leads to less work, meaning people starving on the streets - not because they do not want to work, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WORK AND YET YOU SAY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T WORK, HE MAY NOT LIVE.
Thus, they do not die because of consequences of their actions, but BECAUSE YOU MURDERED THEM.
---

Again- this applies to a VERY TINY percentage of people. The rest are perfectly capable of finding work and food. They simply have attitude problems. "That works not good enough for me". A severe problem with welfare is that people rationally say, "Okay I can work for 40 hours a week and make $20 more than welfare or I can scam 20 bucks from mowing a lawn or doing odd jobs and stay on welfare".

Fact is, I came from a single mom family- worked my ASS off, put myself through college without grants, and I'm only of slightly better than average intelligence. If I did it, anyone can do it if they want it bad enough. When you give folks an easy out- it undercuts their motivation. My life is a lot better now than if I had taken the welfare route.

Finally- it's MY DAMN MONEY. As I said, I worked my ass off for 11 years to get where i am. When I want to give to charity- I do. When I want to build houses for the homeless, I do. What I don't want is some third party like you taking my money and giving it to people you decide are worthy. You give them YOUR money if you think they are so worthy. I'd probably give them something too- but I'm spent out on the other causes that I feel are deserving.

Re:Thats not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241108)

Exactly. Let's just abort the fetus and it's mother, too. And while we are at it, let's kill every human on earth, because everyone is the child of a girl who got pregnant.

Also, I would be careful with the "I did it, so anyone else could do it if they wanted it enough". If it is only because you wanted it enough, why aren't you president of the US? Because you didn't want it? But even if you wanted it, there can be only one president. Thus, if you were president, according to you, you only wanted it more than everyone else and everyone else therefore rightfully starves.

What I want to say is this: Whether you starve or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether you worked hard enough for it or not - and even if there were any link, only those who worked hardest get to the top and yet others who worked hard aren't allowed to live, simply because they didn't come out on top, although technology allows us to produce enough to accommodate them all: The more technology advances, less people get paid and thus get the "privilege" of surviving, while more people potentially could survive.

Some work hard and live, others work hard and die. Some are lazy and die, others are lazy and live. One may think it might be nice if only being lazy or not decided about the path one's life would take, and indeed, it would be better than the current society where your life is mostly defined by how rich your family is, but how are you to decide who deserves your help and who doesn't? It is not you who is to decide about life or death. I do not say that you should feed the lazy or you should do it for the poor, but you should do it for the people.

Re:Thats not the same thing (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242166)

I'm glad that you are providing 100% of your spare cash to support the numerous people dying every second around the world.

I know you get by on a sustinence diet because even 50 cents a *month* can save an entire family in africa. So that coke you just had-- oh an entire family died because you didn't give it to them. What you spent 10,000 on a car? Omg- hundreds died so you could have a car.

The absolute *WORST* thing we can do for people in north korea is to provide them food aid. it only supports the regime which is killing them. We need to let the natural consequences of its actions fall on them.

There is a huge link between hard work and getting ahead (even in africa). The guys making doors out of tin cans are not starving while the ones just sitting around waiting for aid are.

However- in some cases i agree with you. You can do everything right- work really hard- and you still starve to death.

But it is not as simple as helping starving people. In many cases, only when they really start to die off are they going to fix the underlying reason they are starving. Africa's problems are almost entirely self-inflicted at this point. They could be a paradise in less than 10 years. But we know that in 10 years they will still be starving to death and dying off in large numbers from Aids (clue-- unprotected sex and a polyamourous life style and aids... do not mix).

It's really unfortunate that people who do the right thing get screwed. However, any help to them must be tied to people who are willing to enforce standards for that help. In most cases, that's a religious group (and I say that as an athiest) because basic religious principles are usually the bedrock of any successful society (be it pro-family bhuddism or pro-family islam or pro-family christianity).

And yea- it sucks that lazy people often get by fairly well. In fact, being successfully lazy is what they do best (until they are old and sympathetic and then beg more money off the state). I'm going to save hard my entire life (20% of gross) and then probably be denied social security benefits because I have "too much" money while the folks who partied and had big houses will be supported on my tax dollar. It sucks.

And it gets worse. All that 401k money I saved instead of spent-- I'll probably be taxed at 50% on every dollar I take out of it (again- so they can pay the benefits of all those people who didn't save). Then they'll put on TV shows with those starving spendthrift losers and say they need even more of my hard earned and hard saved money.

But as you say-- our entire currency could collapse ala germany wiermach government and I'll be as poor as they are despite saving hard my entire life. All I can do is play the best odds.

Re:Thats not the same thing (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237060)

I challenge the principle of patents.

The patent system is an abuse of the intellectual process for commercial gain. It should be abolished. It cannot be 'reformed'. The purpose of the patent system is to abuse the free inquiry and use of ideas.

Re:Thats not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18238314)

but if 51% of the country voted that black people should be tortured, I would be against it.


      I agree. Being black is torture enough.

Re:Thats not the same thing (1)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239062)

I believe in democracy as a principle, but if 51% of the country voted that black people should be tortured, I would be against it.

I think this is more of a semantic argument than a real difference, but I would argue that you don't really believe in democracy as a principle. I think you would agree that, in many cases, it is an effective method for building a better society; but also recognize that it is not the final solution.

Re:well.. (1, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237324)

Without such protections, someone would invent something and then die of starvation before seeing any kind of profit. While he is trying to produce his invention, some megacorp would take his idea and put it in mass production and beat him to his own market. The inventor would be left with jack because noone would have to pay him to produce his innovation for themselves.

Which RCA did to Farnsworth even though he had a patent, so what's your argument?

Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (3, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235790)

Why employ as "volunteers" from Oracle, HP, IBM, etc., which are known patent abusers?
Why not employ unemployed qualified volunteers and also pay them to do a peer review.
That way you solve two problems:
1. Boost employment to qualified people.
2. Prevent any bias since the people used by USPTO are unemployed anyway.

But, then like all other half-as$ed efforts by any Govt. agency, they will allow ballot stuffing by Microsoft and IBM....

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236036)

I assume the place they could find these unemployed unbiased employees is at Slashdot, for example counting yourself? Seeing as a lack of payment logically proves or gives strong presumption for a lack of bias as you so aptly state? After all, the only reason why someone might speak with a lack of full truthfulness or apply different standards is if they are paid to do it?

And if looking to pay people to perform reviews, they would probably just hire them. While the notion of getting paid to criticise patent applications of the big hated may appeal to some, they also probably have the policy that employees can't pick which companies they are going to review the patents of. No idea why.

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236106)

My dear anonymous coward, pray tell me how "unbiased" would an employee of Microsoft or IBM be? Even if you include your NDA, "over the wall" etc., do you seriously think none of this would leak back to the company?

Now, tell me how "biased" an unemployed would be, if he is reviewing a patent by Microsoft, when he/she was laid off by Ford?

Oh, BTW, iam employed.

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18238402)

My dear fellow and close friend, let me provide some well-meant guidance.

Leaks are irrelevant. The wiki process would be (as far as I gathered, please correct me if I am wrong) open to anyone. By the very definition of a patent, the contents are disclosed in detail to the public and the Patent Office at the time of submission. Otherwise a patent application could be under review for a year while other people continued research on the subject, only to submit a patent application themselves on day 364, to be told immediately after that "aha, there was a patent application in for the same thing you were working on, and it was just granted". Neither is there really any need for secrecy - you can already contribute prior art by searching through the applied-but-not-yet-granted applications at the USPTO webpage, http://www.uspto.gov/patft/ [uspto.gov] . I therefore can't really see how in any way "leaks" would be relevant.

The bias I am talking about is intentionally using distortive language, connotative wording, distorted probability estimates, causal assumptions and all those other techniques that you are fully aware can spin any written text in any direction without changing the underlying "facts". "Obviousness" is just one example - if assistant patent reviewers are allowed to present written arguments, rationales, descriptions and explanations of *why* they believe something is an 'obvious extension' of existing art, it leaves the door wide open to bias.

It is gobsmacking that you somehow claim that 'unemployed people would not be biased' - are you serious? Have we grown up with different definitions of the word 'bias'? A bias of the above type (what I and I would say most reasonable people consider bias) can come from any of a massive number of sources of which pay is only one of them.

To connect the dots rather than use compartmentalised rhetoric here - you would probably argue that Fox News is biased, the Republican Party HQ Press is biased, that the Rand Institute is biased and that Stormfront is biased - and you would not argue that this is purely down to them being paid for it. As you are, again, I assume, capable of arguing that noncommercial bias exists, it should not be a stretch (unless you are seriously opposed to it, in which case I would look critically at your bias) that anyone else might also be biased through ideology rather than payment.

The answer to your question - how biased would an unemployed person just laid off by Ford be about Microsoft - it fully and completely depends. Does he hate Microsoft? Does he see Microsoft as an obstacle to world peace, prosperity and advancement that it is morally right to fight? Does he feel patents belong in the hands of small companies and those with a track record of turning them into products, and that Microsoft does not fit that bill? In short, does he feel an urge to deprive Microsoft of benefit? And is this urge something he may have opportunity to influence the patent reviewers with, through exercising judgement and writing things they read, essentially having a debate and discussion with them, rather than solely submitting prior art diagrams and measurements?

In that case he is completely unsuited as a patent reviewer, and for any other public office role that deals with Microsoft as well. The law should be equal for all, and where the law involves judgement, the judgement should be applied similarly to all similar subjects. Where there are distinctions between subject types (large software companies vs small software companies), the distinction should be completely public and transparent. I would argue that step 1 for any patent examiner is that he/she cannot choose which companies to review patents for - ideally that they don't even know which company filed it.

This written somewhat motivated by a general irritation of the ideological trend towards "payment makes bias, nonprofit makes unbiased" that seems to infest a lot these days.

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236058)

Why not employ unemployed qualified volunteers and also pay them to do a peer review.

So... Where do you suppose these qualified volunteers will come from? Perhaps present and former employees of companies that develop and use the kind of technology that gets patented are the people with the knowledge to make informed contributions to this Patent Wiki? I mean honestly, where do you expect they will come from? Slashdot, maybe? Believe it or not, the average Slashdotter may not actually be qualified for this type of work, and is every bit as biased as you suggest anyone working a "big company" is.

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (1)

15Bit (940730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236128)

How would this differ from actually hiring these unemployed people?

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (2, Informative)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236152)

Why employ as "volunteers" from Oracle, HP, IBM, etc., which are known patent abusers?

      Unfortunately, neither you nor the modders understand that the "volunteers" are those having their patents reviewed via internet, not doing the reviews as an institution.

      Of course technical experts from those companies as well as anyone else, including any of us on slashdot, can also participate. The article describes the patent office deciding to initially follow a democratic process, allowing one vote per person, but with a slashdot/ebay type modding process to rate the top ten comments on a patent.

      Unlike here, that will require RTFA.

  rd

     

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236206)

Why not employ unemployed qualified volunteers and also pay them to do a peer review.

      Why not use free, transparent reviews from identified, publically disclosed reviewers across the internet who can be rated by everyone as to the value of their comments on the patent?

      That is what the Washington Post article describes the Patent Office as deciding after talking to CmdrTaco, eBay experts, etc.

      Although we'll be in uncharted waters if the Patent Office vote process looks too much like One-Click.

  rd

Re:Why not unemployed, qualified paid volunteers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18237394)

I happen to be employed by Wikia, Oracle, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Exxon, Sprint, PetCo, Wendy's, Rockwell, and Greenpeace. With my six PhDs in patent law and tenured chairs at two universities, I think I'm quite qualified to fix the Patent Office. Their Wiki is just the right tool, and they just have to place me in control of it.

no subject (2, Insightful)

UnixSphere (820423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235792)

332000 divided by 4000 equals to 83

So each worker had to look at 83 of them PER YEAR

How the hell is this alot?

Re:no subject (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235826)

5 days a week, times 47 [or so] weeks of work == 235 days. That gives them just under 3 (2.83) days to read the patent, understand it, look for prior art, and then say "yay/nay."

That's not actually a lot if you think about it. Sure some patents are probably trivially rejectable, but many probably require some deciphering before you get to the "omg that's obvious" stage.

Like this 7 page [google.com] patent (yes, I'm picking on them) for table based multiplication. Not only is it an obvious idea, that even the average 10 year old could figure out, but it's already been used by many hardware manufacturers (ARM used it for the ARM7 multiplier for instance). From the first few claims the "invention" doesn't really seem invalid until you put it together, and realize that it's the mechanical equivalent of long hand multiplication.

While you or I would easily spot that patent and say "no shit," a patent examiner must be able to defend their decision, so they must actually cite prior art (or make a convincing argument the idea was obvious). That also takes time.

Tom

Re:no subject (1)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236188)

I think they need to raise the cost of getting a patent or base it on annual revenue of the company applying. This may solve a number of problems.

Re:no subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236376)

Stupid. Patents are already too expensive for an individual to acquire ($10,000 or so each, all said) and under your second method, a person could form a start-up or a patent farm with little or even negative revenue and grab a boatload of cheap patents.

Re:no subject (1)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236440)

Stupid. Patents are already too expensive for an individual to acquire ($10,000 or so each, all said) and under your second method, a person could form a start-up or a patent farm with little or even negative revenue and grab a boatload of cheap patents.

Ok, I guess I shouldn't make any more suggestions if they are just stupid. Your turn.

Re:no subject (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236416)

You can't discriminate based on their income.

However, I don't see where filing patents is a right. If a company abuses it, they should have their patent abilities suspended.

Tom

Re:no subject (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237592)

That would be dumb. Then no 'little guy's could afford to patent a great idea. Only corporations with deep pockets could. It's already very expensive for a regular working guy with a great idea to try to patent it and make some money off the invention. Don't make it worse.

Re:no subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236780)

Nowadays google makes finding prior art simple, so the USPTO employees cannot use "it takes too long to find prior art" as an excuse. This is excellent though; the patent review panel will be increasing by more than an order of magnitude. Hopefully no more one-click-to-buy, double-click, or wireless email (ZOMG it's wireless!! - no shit, emails have been sent by satellite for years) patents get approved ever again.

Re:no subject (2, Insightful)

Steve B (42864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237080)

Nowadays google makes finding prior art simple

I assume this statement will be followed up by an explanation of how to use Google to find documents with verifiable timestamps proving that they were published before a specific date.

Greater workload than you think... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18237142)

(Former patent examiner here)

The vast majority (I'd say 98%) of patent apps are initially reviewed and rejected, but the attorney usually argues the rejection and/or adjusts the claims and sends the aplicaiton back. So the examiner has to re-review the application, and this back-and-forth action often goes on for months or years before the patent is finally issued or abandoned.

So really, each examiner is looking at twice as many applications a week as you think they are. Even though half of them are ones they've already seen, it typically takes 3-6 months to get a reply, and by then it's hard to remember all the details. Also, the claims are often so changed that a whole new prior art search is required. As Tom noted, it sometimes takes a while to dig up the prior art to shoot down each claim, even if the invention is clearly obvious.

At least in my art unit, it was rare to find an application with a spec that was under 20 pages and had less than 30 claims. I'd say 40-90 claims was the average. That's a lot of material to sift through, especially for entry-level engineers with little experience in the industry (which comprise the PTO's vast majority of employees). When I worked there, it was pretty standard for patent examiners to work 10 hour days in addition to Saturdays or Sundays, and not get paid for the overtime.

Re:no subject (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235832)

1.5 applications per employee per week, without taking account of holiday time, employees in admin etc.
Try researching the validity of 1.5 20 page technical documents for a field you have absolutely no expertise in a week.

Re:no subject (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236108)

Try researching the validity of 1.5 20 page technical documents for a field you have absolutely no expertise in a week.

      Judging by the whole mess the patent system is in, one could make a case that they didn't bother doing any research during that week anyway...simply let the application sit for a while then stamped it "approved" so long as it wasn't something very silly (like a warp drive).

Re:no subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18235960)

Quote I heard from a USPTO employee: "Yeah... we work 24 by 7. 24 hours a week; 7 weeks a year."

Re:no subject (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236768)

332000 divided by 4000 equals to 83

So each worker had to look at 83 of them PER YEAR

How the hell is this alot?


Errrr... because it probably take several weeks to understand most patents especially if you are not an expert in that particular field.

Re:no subject (1)

smeckert (713620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239276)

>>332000 divided by 4000 equals to 83
>>So each worker had to look at 83 of them PER YEAR

You must not be familiar with government in the US.

For example, if you have a pothole to fill, it
takes at least fie people to fill it in.
You have the dispacher, the driver, the
supervisor, the safety official.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot the guy with the shovel.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the hole getting filled.

Mind you, five to one is probably conservative when
you're talking about adding lawyers to the mix.

But if you take 5:1 to the USPTO, then you're looking
at 415 a year.

Re:no subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239598)

This post exemplifies the complete ignorance of the US Patent system that is so common among users of this site. If you were to follow an examiner around for a week, you'd realize your view of what a patent is and what they are in reality are two entirely separate entities.

How Wonderful, M$ Employees Will Be Doing This (3, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235794)

If we let Microsoft employees do this work for the Patent Office, I can only imagine what sorts of patents are going to get approved. M$ will have every patent under the sun. Somehow, I don't think letting huge corporate interests "assist" the government would make the process better.

Re:How Wonderful, M$ Employees Will Be Doing This (1)

$pearhead (1021201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236476)

M$ will have every patent under the sun.
M$ will have every patent over Sun.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:How Wonderful, M$ Employees Will Be Doing This (3, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236894)

If we let Microsoft employees do this work for the Patent Office, I can only imagine what sorts of patents are going to get approved. M$ will have every patent under the sun. Somehow, I don't think letting huge corporate interests "assist" the government would make the process better.

I read TFA, and I don't see how that could happen.

The system doesn't allow MS employees (or anyone other than patent office employees) to approve patent applications, or even support them. The only thing that can be done through the wiki is to offer evidence of prior art that may invalidate the patent applications.

Of course, MS employees could try to invalidate all of, say, IBM's patent applications, or opponents of patents in general could try to invalidate everyone's applications, perhaps even submitting bogus prior art. That's why they're trying to create a reputation system, initially determining the weight to give a particular submission by the submitter's academic and professional credentials and then after the system has been running for a while using submission history -- favoring the submissions of those who have submitted solid prior art citations in the past.

I don't see any way this won't be an improvement over the present system.

It also doesn't appear to me that the submitters will be limited to employees of the listed corporations. Based on my reading of the article, it sounds like anyone who has the relevant qualifications will be able to participate. IBM, MS, etc. have volunteered to pay some of their employees to participate. It's rather obvious that they would want to, actually. It's much cheaper to invalidate other companies' patents before they're granted than to fight them in court afterward. It would be a good idea for the OSTG to pay a couple people to participate as well, focused on invalidating patents that may represent a risk to open source.

Re:How Wonderful, M$ Employees Will Be Doing This (2, Interesting)

s0abas (792033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237326)

The idea is that it is peer reviewed. Sure Microsoft could submit bogus information, but the concept of collaboration is that other people would see it and vote it as bogus. This is also much better than the current system because at least now, the patent examiners at least have _some_ information about that patent from people in the field (whether from a large corporation or not).

Also I could be wrong, but the way I read the article it seemed like only those companies would be testing the system, not the only ones participating in the final product. If/when it is implemented, again this is just the way I read it, experts could register with the patent office and be able to submit and review other's comments. Again, one person could submit bogus information, but the rest of the reviewers would jump on it.

And yes, obviously you could have a sort of gouging thing where everyone is paid to up-vote certain information which may not be technically correct, but the same could happen in the patent office with the current system; there's no stopping this sort of thing no matter what system you're using.

Again, the patent examiners would at least have _some_ information which they may not have been able to easily find before (in an approximate three day period), especially when, from the article, "they are discouraged from using the Internet in their research".

I think this system has a lot of potential and IMO would do nothing more than help assist the current one.

Language? (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235798)

Why not just require more concise, less ambiguous language in the patents?

Oh, and penalties for things that are obviously non-patentable like this [google.com] table base multiplier. But the penalty shouldn't be money, though the fees should be forfeited. It should be in time. As in each obvious, or invalid patent sends your company to the bottom of the patent pile for 12 months.

The # of patents doesn't match the # of true innovations. So the true solution to the problem, and not the stopgap band-aid solution, is to reduce the # of junk patents. Since companies can't be trusted [sadly] to use self-control we'll have to, as a society, impose penalties and restrictions.

Maybe if companies knew they could lose patents for legit ideas by filing bogus applications they'd think twice before sending in the application?

Tom

Cease and Desist (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235932)

Your post at 6:32 Why not just require more concise, less ambiguous language in the patents? is clearly a violation of my Intellectual Property in my 6:27AM post For one thing the applications are overly complex if you ask me. Please cease and desist immediately.

Re:Cease and Desist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236888)

ok *shoots you* .. oops, did you mean "stop", i thought you said "decease and assist", really sorry about that.... so, we cool right?

Hmmm (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235846)

I wonder if a system like this will get my patent on left side book binding through.

Here's a peer review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18235878)

Software patents are invalid. Now where's my consultancy fees for doing the USPTOs job for them?

To "being" soon...? (0, Offtopic)

ryl000 (954356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235888)

Huh?

NEWS new hire at USPTO (1, Offtopic)

spicydragonz (837027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235940)

Yoda, "Work for USPTO I do."

Re:NEWS new hire at USPTO (1, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236086)

Yoda, "Work for USPTO I do."

      Prove your worthiness you must, or deny your patent I shall...

This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (2, Informative)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235900)

From TFA

"Anyone who believes he knows of information relating to these proposed patents will be able to post this online and solicit comments from others. But this will suddenly make available reams of information, which could be from suspect sources, and so the program includes a "reputation system" for ranking the material and evaluating the expertise of those submitting it. (...)

Patent examiners, for instance, will award "gold stars" to people who previously submitted the most useful information for judging earlier applications (...) Ultimately, those registered to participate in this online forum will vote on all the nominated information, and the top 10 items will be passed on to the examiner, who will serve as the final arbiter on whether to award a patent. (...)

To assure that the outcome can be trusted, some of those involved in designing the program say some kind of weighted voting system may eventually be required. "If voting is necessary, you'll have to have some rules about who gets to vote,"


How is this not Slash [wikipedia.org] , from our truly and good Slashdot? Everything is there, from Score to karma to Mod points. This is far from being wiki, and much more like being slash.

Anyway, what I would like to see is truly peer reviewed patent examination, the kind of review that is done in the scientific community, where the process is publicly disclosed (let's say, in a specialized magazine) and people in the field either submit proof that it is either obvious or has prior art or accepts the patent as valid. Similar to what happens when one claims to have found a proof to some mathematical theorem. Not that I believe that it will happens someday, but a man can dream, can't he?

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18235918)

From TFA

How is this not Slash, from our truly and good Slashdot? Everything is there, from Score to karma to Mod points. This is far from being wiki, and much more like being slash.


From TFA:

"So the designers of the new patent-review system consulted some of the Internet's leading experts on reputation, Noveck recounted. These included specialists from eBay and Rob Malda, aka CmdrTaco, the founder of the popular technology Web site Slashdot.org."

Sheesh.

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235942)

Ouch. How could I miss that TFA? I think I skipped that entire sentence when I noticed the words "Ebay" and "reputation" together. My brain just couldn't parse it adequately. Head asplodes!

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (0, Redundant)

a.d.venturer (107354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235954)

I for one welcome our new Slashdot overlords...

Re:This is more like Slash- and so (0, Redundant)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236072)

I for one welcome our karma-whoring patent denying overlords...

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (2, Insightful)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236256)

How is this not Slash [wikipedia.org], from our truly and good Slashdot? Everything is there, from Score to karma to Mod points. This is far from being wiki, and much more like being slash.

      It's supposed to be, they consulted CndrTaco about it. It has even more elements of eBay and Amazon as well. I don't think it has much to do with the Wikipedia process at all from what I can tell.

      Apparently "citing" Wikipedia is based on pure name recognition and easier to understand than slashdot/eBay/Amazon (and who knows, probably shades of Google PageRank will be in there as well).

  rd

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18238122)

How is this not Slash [wikipedia.org], from our truly and good Slashdot? Everything is there, from Score to karma to Mod points. This is far from being wiki, and much more like being slash.

It sure sounds like it to me. In fact, I suggested much the same thing as this here: PatentDot [slashdot.org] on Feb 19, 2006.

I don't know if they actually referred to this post when they designed this system, but it seems to have the same elements involved. Heh. Maybe I should have patented it? <grin>

Re:This is more like Slash-like than wiki-like (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239698)

Anyway, what I would like to see is truly peer reviewed patent examination, the kind of review that is done in the scientific community, where the process is publicly disclosed (let's say, in a specialized magazine) and people in the field either submit proof that it is either obvious or has prior art or accepts the patent as valid. Similar to what happens when one claims to have found a proof to some mathematical theorem. Not that I believe that it will happens someday, but a man can dream, can't he?
The biggest reason this won't work is the amount of legal training required to become an examiner. Patent examination is much more a legal argument than a technical one. Case in point is the 2000+ page MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) which sets forth the complete statutes, rules, guidelines and judicial precedent that determine a proper examination of each patent.

Unfair advantage (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235964)

So the big companies will have a influence on what new technologies get patents?

That is an unfair advantage because two reasons.

First, they will have a better view of developing technologies than the other companies. They will know earlier than others if some new tech is available, innovative and useful. They will be able to buy out the upstart producing it before anyone else.

Also, they will be able to give a harder time in the review process to patent applications coming from competitors.

in other news... (0, Offtopic)

borgalicious (750617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18235980)

...Slashdot Headline Prufreeding To Being Sewn

I am Essjay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236012)

I am posting this from behind Tor [wikipedia.org] due to a concern for my life. The truth is that I am a member of the Gay Nigger Assocation of America [gnaa.us] . This is both a religion and a lifestyle for me, and I was working my way up to the top of Wikipedia as a sleeper agent [wikipedia.org] to be used in a time of need.

My role for the GNAA was to rig the structure of Wikipedia like a chain of dominoes, so that when the time was right our leader could push over the first one of sorts, in whichever form it might take, merely by erecting his black member; we would replace every article with an icon [wikipedia.org] , and make national news [al.com] in the process.

I tell all of you this as my failure has re-inspired my belief in god, and in the idea that one day that white men such as many of us might not all end up as dead, uprooted links in the ultimate evolution of the human race [google.com] . Thank you and god bless.

So rejected patents are now exposed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236056)

As I understand it, in the present system rejected patents are not published. So if someone tries to patent something but are told that it is already known, trivial etc. then they can walk away and instead rely on secrecy to stop their competitors from just cloning their invention. (The situation is similar with applications that require modification.)

In this new system, as far as I can see the application is published for 'internet review' such that the competitor can see what the claimant wanted to patent, whether it is going to be granted or not. So they no longer have the possibility of using secrecy to defend their inventions.

The result could be that fewer patent applications are made, with people instead relying more on secrecy. This is unlikely to help - for example - people who want hardware manufacturers to be more open with their specs.

Re:So rejected patents are now exposed? (1)

blogan (84463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236182)

18 months after being submitted, the patent application is available for download. So the public can see ideas that may still be rejected.

Re:So rejected patents are now exposed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18237154)

True to a point. But what I think the parent was alluding to is that in the rest of the world (most notably the UK, which is very efficent and speedy) while a patent application is indeed published 18 months after filing, the prior art search has been completed BEFORE 18 months (within about 3 months in the UK). This allows the applicant to file, then receive the search report, then decide whether to continue all in secrecy. If he gets a report back that makes his idea look silly he can withdraw before publication and not look stupid infront of his competitors. If it looks worth pursuing he can continue with publication and eventually examination and hopefully grant. If his competitors are doing the searching, he loses that advantage that the system should provide.

Wiki-like? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236112)

the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents.

Hopefully, the US Patent Office will not allow people with false credentials to review the patents.

Re:Wiki-like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18237526)

Who cares if you have "false credentials". You say company X made this product in 1950 and it's prior art. If it has a citation, it does not matter who reviews the patent claim.

Re:Wiki-like? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18238768)

That assumes, of course, that the person with the faked credentials knows enough to understand what the patent application is about.

To Being! (0, Offtopic)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236174)

To Being! Finally, to Being!

Some Numbers (4, Informative)

oldwindways (934421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236212)

I'm not sure where the Washington Post got their numbers, but according to the USPTO's own Annual Report [uspto.gov] , they received more than 615,300 patent related applications, which were dealt with by 4,883 examiners. A reasonable calculation then suggests that they would have to process the applications in an average of 15 hours each to keep up with demand.

In actuality, only 332,535 patents were disposed in FY2006, which means the backlog (already in excess of on million patent applications) only grew. In a system where your application is not likely to even be looked at for the first 22 months, and it takes more than 2.5 years for the average application to be processed, they are desperately in need of help examining.

The most depressing part of the report is to look at their goals. The objective is not to reduce the backlog, or improve first action or total pendency time, it is simply to have the backlog increase by less than in previous years. With this kind of thinking, there is no end in sight. What is really needed is a radical change of leadership, such that the resources being allocated and the goals being set can actually improve the situation.

Typo in Title (2, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236322)

"USPTO Peer Review Process To Being Soon"

To being soon what? :) Or is Yoda writing headlines again?

poetic (1)

fuliginous (1059354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236460)

Thought occurs to me of requiring the people who register patents to be required to be randomly selected as in affect a juror on a number of patents, the number determined as a geared ration against the number of patents they register. So a single application might require you to review two, ten a hundred. (Obviously the gearing changes in a sliding scale).

Details like what evidence of research needs to be submitted etc would need defining but I like it. It throws the cost back onto the biggest users of the system and of course opens up a whole new avenue of anti-competitive behaviour as people work in cahoots to not find evidence to contest their own interests.

Interensing stance (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236478)

It seems the general trend in some of these posts is that the cooperations will have the final say in patentability. This is not the case in any way. They are allowed to chime in and say "look at this... this is prior art." The most useful art is passed on to the examiner who usually spends (usually) a couple of days of searching for any valid prior art. The examiner would have the final say... period. There will be a risk of falsifying a source but the patent office does not use websites for prior art and instead will look to the actual publication for rejection making it much harder to falsify.

Another theme I saw less is that cooperations will have access to applications that do not yet have patents. The funny thing is that YOU TOO have the same access. any patent in any software field has a backlog of WELL over 18 months... and guess what... 18 months is exactly when ANY application is published. They will have exactly the same access as any member of the public, any document under review will be in the USPGpub

I agree that there are kinks to work out, but a lot of people here are taking the stance that "oh... a part of it doesn't work so let's throw the whole thing out" when that would probably be more damaging.

Large companies do have deep pockets for litigation, but that same money would be much more efficiently spent pushing little guy after little guy out of the way if no protection existed.

Wiki-like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18236534)

the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents.

My review to this pattent application is that HGJ IS A FAG!!!!

It's a difficult problem, but (4, Insightful)

CubanCorona (759226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236608)

Of course, no one denies that the patent system needs change--most likely a significant reform. The Patent Office knows this!! They are currently hiring thousands of examiners to help deal with the backlog. They have instituted hotelling programs to allow examiners to work from remote locations, thus freeing up valuable office space for new examiners. The Office is constantly developing new search tools to better help examiners locate prior art, especially for business method and software patents which can be very hard to invalidate.

Remember, the law as it currently stands states, "A person shall be entitled to a patent unless..." Thus, the burden is on the examiner to PROVE that a patent should not be granted. This can be VERY hard, even when the technology appears clearly to be unpatentable.

I have to say, I am very surprised at some of the comments coming from such an educated group of people. Destructive criticism will get us nowhere.

Notwithstanding the problems of our current system, patents ARE important for protecting innovation. Countries from around the world recognize this, and, believe it or not, try to emulate our system for the protection of intellectual property.

Give the Patent Office some credit here. This is a DRASTIC and REVOLUTIONARY change they are trying to institute here. It is VERY progressive, and it seems very in-tune with the open-source trend in information sharing and collaboration. They clearly recognize the need for change, and they really are working to find the right solution.

So before you start ranting about how the patent office sucks and how patents should be abolished. Take some time to think about why patents fundamentally encourage and protect innovation, and why the job facing the Patent Office is not so easy.

Again, everyone is looking for a better solution. That is why the Office is testing this program! Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. One thing, however, is sure: unhelpful and unreasonable criticisms from close-minded individuals do not help.

USPTO Peer Review Process To Being Soon (0, Offtopic)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236676)

Could somebody please point to the verb in that title?

I'm trying to make sense out of it but I can't.

USPTO Rational for "Rubber Stapping" of Patents (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236802)

"... Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees. ..."

I do not think that being over burdened with work is an acceptable reason for granting any patent. As for the "One Click" patent, who ever granted that one should be fired for cause. That decision actually did cause damage to internet commerce, on a global scale. As for the concept of "Software Patents". Software was always litigated using copy write law.

Re:USPTO Rational for "Rubber Stapping" of Patents (1)

pelican66 (962862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240568)

Not to mention the person who granted a patent for automatic starting of Flash movies (Does "press SPACEBAR or click to activate" ring a bell?); I want that person in jail, let alone out of a job.

Quick! (1)

proxy318 (944196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18236840)

Someone patent Wikis. We'll make a fortune licensing it to the USPTO!

Won't it be illegal, in Illinois at least? (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237506)

There was this slashdot thread [slashdot.org] about proposed legislation in Illinois preventing computers at public libraries and schools from accessing "social networking" sites. Can the USPTO's "community rating system" be seen as a social network? Does the USPTO function similiar to a "public library", i.e. a repository of information accessable to the public?

I like this quote from David Kappos at IBM: "For the first time in history, it allows the patent-office examiners to open up their cubicles and get access to a whole world of technical experts". Does that mean that the USPTO has been ignoring technical experts? And what is their source of information? National Geograpic? Rob Brezny [freewillastrology.com] ? Da bones? Magic 8-Ball?

By committee (1)

OHdog (1069248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18237992)

Base the review system on the ASTM model used for creating national standards. Each patent would be assigned to one sub-committee. The voting members of the committee are limited to only one per corporation or university but qualified private consultants/individuals can serve too. Non-voting associates of the voting member are welcome to participate in the discussion. The patent committee will serve as an advisor to the examiner with each claim accepted or rejected by consensus vote but the rejecting votes have to be backed up by evidence or they can be overridden. This is not really a Wiki-model but in the commercial arena the competing interests tend to balance one another and the private individual or University researcher provide more or less disinterested intellectual depth. Final discussion should be online in real time by phone or telecommuting. Ideal would be face time but that is impractical financially.

Site vs. Cite (1)

Jason69 (661789) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239520)

Quoting the summary

Patent office officials site the huge workload...
The poster might want to look up the difference for the next time.

This won't last (1)

The Wicked Priest (632846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240506)

Unlike the PTO's examiners, who nowadays see applicants as their "customers", the commentors won't have a bias towards letting things slide. So they'll rightly shoot down most applications, and (assuming the PTO takes this seriously) grant rates will plummet. The PTO will regard this as a bad thing, and end the project.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...