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United States Patent and Trademark Office Goes Social

<sarcasm> Patent Office Steals from Digg! </sarcasm>

patof United States Patent and Trademark Office Goes SocialThe United States Patent and Trademark Office is launching a pilot program that will post patent applications online and ask readers to not only comment on them, but invite the community to rate comments so that the ones with best ratings are moved to the top of the pile “for serious consideration by the agency’s examiners.”

While this is a big change from their archaic system, the adoption of the community-based initiative makes perfect for an agency that is responsible fro rewarding and protecting technological innovations.

“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,” said David J. Kappos, vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM.

Of course when you open your system to everyone, some will try to take advantage of it or try to circumvent it, just like people game every other social web application to gain prominence. This potential for ‘gaming’ raises several important questions.

  1. Who should or will be allowed to vote and on what basis?
  2. How much weight will these ‘promoted’ comments have and how will they be factored in when the applications are being evaluated?

So far the system is described as follows,

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.

The Washington Post has more.

 

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2 people thinks stuff!

  1. [...] United States Patent and Trademark Office Goes Social from 901am by muhammad saleem. The Washington Post has more. United States Patent and Trademark Office Home Page No sign of these changes yet. [...]

    By Governments online, social or otherwise » SOJo: Student of Online Journalism on March 7, 2007 3:19 pm

  2. Well they had to go social because without doing that they might been lefgt alone in the traditonal world since most comanies are alreayd tapping that power

    By Travel Agents Finder on January 23, 2008 10:00 am

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