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Many Lawyers Behind USPTO Pilot

Lawyers and bloggers played roles in helping to launch the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's pilot project for public review of patent applications via the Internet. As Washington Post writer Alan Sipress reported yesterday, the USPTO pilot will allow some companies submitting patent applications to agree to have them reviewed via the Internet. It is called The Peer to Patent Project, and, as Law Blog noted yesterday, it has been spearheaded by New York Law School professor Beth Simone Noveck, director of the school's Institute for Information Law & Policy.

A broad array of other lawyers and bloggers are serving as advisers to the project. The list includes Robert Barr, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology; Dennis Crouch, author of the blog Patently-O; John Duffy, George Washington University law professor; Will Fitzpatrick, corporate counsel to the Omidyar Network; Alan Kaspar, partner at Sughrue Mion; Stephen Kunin, special counsel at Oblon Spivak; Mark Lemley, director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology; Michael V. Messinger, director of Sterne, Kessler Goldstein, & Fox; Gideon Parchomovsky, University of Pennsylvania Law School professor; Arti K. Rai, Duke University Law School professor; and Steven  S. Weiner, partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. The USPTO even consulted CmdrTaco, the founder of Slashdot, according to Wired News.

The pilot project is an interesting idea, says ProfessorBainbridge, one that other administrative agencies might emulate. He writes:

"For example, like all other federal agencies, the SEC currently invites public comments on rulemaking proceedings, but lacks the community rating system. Given the widely available technology for creating such a system, however, there's no reason why the SEC couldn't follow in the PTO's footsteps. Comments by respected securities law academics (ahem) presumably would get pushed up, while duplicate astroturf comments presumably get pushed down. Or maybe not, as we might see astroturf campaigns to affect the ratings. Yet, it seems a worthwhile experiment."

Follow the project's progress through its blog

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on March 6, 2007 at 05:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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