WikiPatents Enables Community Patent Review

by : Kevin Hermansen

“Bad patents" cost infringers—and, ultimately, all consumers—millions, if not billions, of dollars every year. Yet, “good patents" often go unrecognized. Until now, there has been no web site encouraging large-scale, organized public comment to clarify the true merits and value of U.S. patents., officially launched August 28, 2006, addresses these problems. WikiPatents’ goal is to strengthen the patent system by clarifying whether a patent really protects a new idea and how much that idea is worth. The United States Patent & Trademark Office is very effective at reviewing patents given its limited time and resources. WikiPatents provides patent examiners at the Patent Office and the entire patent community another powerful resource that will add reliability, clarity, and efficiency to the patent process.

WikiPatents is a free-access web site and database containing millions of patents that allows the interested public to discuss, rate, and vote on published patents and, soon, pending patent applications. Most notably, users can add prior art references (publications that closely relate to and predate the patented technology), as well as comment and vote on the relevancy of prior art. Users can also comment and vote on patent value, licensing, technical, and other issues for each patent.

WikiPatents seeks to become the crossroads where patent examiners, inventors, investors, patent attorneys, and litigants join to discuss the merits of patents and patent applications.