US Patent and Trademarks Office gets collaborative

Don’t ask, just join the dots together with the following facts. Wonder if it will influence ‘Transforming Government’ in the UK?:

1. Last August the US Patent and Trademarks Office removed Wikipedia (a collaborative product) from its list of acceptable resource sources, which didn’t help Amazon lawyers’ action to protect its 1-Click patent.

2. Now a collaborative pilot has been announced by — the US Patent and Trademarks Office:

“As part of the efforts of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) to implement its Strategic Plan, the Office is pleased to announce a pilot to determine the extent to which the organized submission of documents together with comments by the public will provide useful prior art for examiners.

“Advances in Internet-based methods of collaboration have produced both technological and business models that have greatly increased productivity in the American economy.  Recently a group of academic and business professionals have proposed a collaborative, online process in which members of the public pool together their knowledge and locate potential prior art. 

“This pilot will test whether such collaboration can effectively locate prior art that might not otherwise be located by the Office during the typical examination process.”