The Peer to Patent Project has published a series of technical documents that describe requirements for the test system that is under development to expand "public participation" in the patent prior art research.
Chief among these documents is the Use Case Model. This describes a series of actions that need to be supported by the new system.
Reading IBM’s Building a New IP Marketplace report, based on a wiki developed by several dozen international patent and technology experts during the Spring of 2006, helps explain why IBM recently announced it will be going public with its patent filings.
Perhaps one of the main drivers in IBM's decision to go public with the patent filling process is the acknowledgement that competitive advantage is generated not only by technological innovation but also by all the other ancillary systems and processes that must be orchestrated in bringing a new product or service to market.
Wendy Piersall is one of many bloggers commenting about Friendster's being granted a patent by the US Patent & Trademark Office for an implementation of social networking. The Friendster patent claim was originally filed in 2003. The patent was issued in late June of this year. There are many interesting views floating around in the blogosphere about this, for example:
* This is what happens when the patent examination process takes so long.
* This will stifle innovation.
* This will stimulate innovation.
* Friendster's fortunes are in decline so it will have to take up suing people to make money.
* Networking services like Linkedin will end up paying huge license fees and will have to shut down free subscriptions.
* Some attorneys are going to make a lot of money over this.
I recently wrote here about using social networking and information technology to improve access to expert knowledge within the enterprise. Luis Suarez has also commented about the "knowledge management" aspects of this idea.
An interesting experiment incorporating some of these ideas is already underway here in the United States -- the Peer to Patent Project.
Thanks to a scan of my Netvibes feed page I ran across a very interesting item called Are Software Patents Evil? by Paul Graham. This is not one of those brief stream-of-consciousness blog entries, this is a serious piece that reviews and comments on the serious issues surrounding patents, software patents in particular.
A progress report on the Peer to Patent Project has been published in the form of a useful PowerPoint presentation available here. The presentation, by Professor Beth S. Noveck of the New York Law School, was scheduled for presentation on March 23, 2006 at the University of Michigan.