Backlogged patents and bogged down legislation. Broad patents awarded to inventors who have no interest in making or using their innovation and costly litigation. These are all issues the patent world is facing today, for which reform may be the only answer. With no definitive answer in sight, Article One Partners set out to identify a solution. As a new company facing a tough economy, Article One had a daunting road ahead of them. However, their efforts did not go unnoticed as they were recently voted Start Up of the Year at the Silicon Valley Insider’s Startup 2009 conference.
"This was a tremendous honor for a company just over six-months old, and we'd like to thank the judges, sponsors, and conference attendees for taking the time to understand our crowdsourcing model for researching patent validity and sharing their own insights about the much-needed issue of patent reform”, said Cheryl Milone, CEO and founder of Article One Partners. “We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our member Advisors from around the world. This is a passionate community that has already made a huge impact, discovering patent invalidity evidence in our Studies - ranging from Merck's Singulair drug, to yesterday's announcement relating to the Worlds.com patent litigation. The community is truly the heart of this Company."
Article One Partners utilizes community participation to actively apply their knowledge, research or network to find prior art relevant to issued patents in exchange for a potential $50,000 reward. In order to get this reward, participants must be the first to submit a primary prior art reference that forms the basis for a formal opinion of invalidity of the patents. Article One recognizes that the solution to the prior art problem is found with community participation, a solution also identified by Peer-to-Patent. Through its profit sharing program Article One also supports Peer-to-Patent by providing direct incentives to those who contribute prior art to Peer-to-Patent. These programs are proof that crowdsourcing can be used to improve the patent system.