Microsoft has agreed to become a lead sponsor and participant in the Community Patent Review Initiative that will be launched in partnership with the USPTO to streamline and improve the patent application review process. Joining IBM as the second major corporation to provide funding and active support for this innovative pilot project, Microsoft has consented to allow some of its published patent applications to be peer reviewed during the community peer review pilot. This will allow third parties to submit prior art and commentary explaining the relevance of the prior art they provide to the patent office.
"The core component behind the granting of high-quality patents is the availability and knowledge of relevant technical information for the examiner to determine whether the invention is new, useful, and non-obvious," said E.R. "Kaz" Kazenske, Senior Director, IP&L-Patent Group, Microsoft. "Our key focus in partnering with the USPTO and Professor Noveck is to enable examiners to have access to the best technical information experts in these technical fields can find, enhance the quality of issued patents, and build a greater reliance on a patent office's work by other patent offices around the world."
In welcoming Microsoft's support for the Community Patent Review Initiative, Professor Beth Noveck, Director of the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School, expressed the belief that Microsoft's participation represents an important step forward in this critical effort to improve the efficiency and quality of the patent examination process.