June 08, 2007

The USPTO recently announced that it plans to begin its Peer Review Pilot program on June 15th in attempt to “expedite and improve the examination process in computer technology.” This Pilot program, which according to the USPTO press release (link below) is a joint initiative with the New York Law School’s Community Patent Review Project (CPRP), will allow technical experts in the computer field to register with the CPRP and provide content to the USPTO pertaining to up to 250 published patent applications which have been volunteered to participate in the Pilot and with consents of the respective applicants allowing third-parties to provide direct commentary pertaining to the pending applications. According to the press release, the “USPTO supports expanding the ability of third parties to submit to the USPTO information they believe is pertinent to a pending application, a concept included in patent modernization legislation now under consideration in the U.S. Congress,” and that “[i]n combination, the peer review pilot, applicant quality submissions and expanded third party submissions encourage a highly participatory examination process that will lead to more efficient and effective review of patent applications.” Additional details are provided in the Official Gazette Notice (“Pilot Concerning Public Submission Of Peer Reviewed Prior Art”) PDF link below, including the specific requirements an applicant must meet in order to participate in the program.

USPTO Press Release: LINK
Official Gazette Notice of the Peer Review Pilot Program: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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