O'Reilly Radar posted an article today by Andy Oram entitled "Encouraging results from Peer-to-Patent." Oram begins:
Congratulations to the organizers of Peer-to-Patent, which is carrying off one of the most audacious experiments in Internet activism in our day. A lot of ink has been spilled about Barack Obama's application of social networking techniques to presidential campaigning (and to Ron Paul's successful fund-raising before that) but Peer-to-Patent makes those achievements seem entirely run-of-the-mill.
Oram goes on to describe a few of the accomplishments detailed within the Peer-to-Patent First Anniversary Report, specifically the large volume of non-patent literature being submitted to the USPTO by Peer-to-Patent reviewers:
Even more significant is the sources of the prior art. When patent examiners reject a patent, they usually cite previous patents as prior art. This has undeniable value by keeping someone who is not truly an inventor from gaining control over an existing technology, but it doesn't perform the crucial role of the Patent Office in protecting public information that is already open for use by everyone.
So when the Peer-to-Patent project finds that volunteers submit a relatively high percentage of non-patent prior art, it suggests that they can really keep free information free: unencumbered by unwarranted patents.
Oram concludes with a hopeful view of the possibilities that Peer-to-Patent and its success represent:
What Peer-to-Patent does suggest is that governments and volunteers from around the world can work together to solve problems. Government can become more efficient and respond more flexibly to public needs, while individuals can effectively wield power by working together. Technology is central to the effort. Let's watch this project.
To read the blog posting in its entirety, click here
The Peer-to-Patent First Anniversary Report is available for download at The DoTank