The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and IP Australia (IPA) have commenced a 12-month online trial of Peer-to-Patent Australia which is designed to improve the patent examination process by engaging the public in submitting relevant prior art to assist in the examination of patent applications. With the consent of the patent applicants, Peer-to-Patent Australia will post up to 40 patent applications in the areas of business methods and computer software on their website for public inspection for 90 days. During this period, members of the public may review these applications, make comments and submit prior art references. Amongst these public submissions, the panel of reviewers at Peer-to-Patent Australia will select the top 10 prior art submissions for each patent and put them forward to IP Australia for consideration in its examination process. This process is aimed at assisting the patent examiner in his/her role of assessing the novelty and inventiveness of the patent application - the examiner retains his/her role of deciding whether the patent is granted or not.
This trial process intends to increase the rigour of the patent examination process to improve the quality of issued patents. IPA and QUT suggest that by engaging experts in the community the project will enhance the quality of issued patents and result in more robust patents with stronger claims that hopefully are less likely to be challenged – either at the time of litigation or during licensing negotiations.
To find more information or take part in the project, visit: www.peertopatent.org.au
If you have Patent licensing and negotiation queries please contact us at info @ elevationlegal dot com or 08-9488 3355.