Peer to Patent
Peer-to-Patent is a historic initiative by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that opens the
patent examination process to public participation for the first time. Peer-to-Patent is an online system that
aims to improve the quality of issued patents by enabling the public to supply the USPTO with information
relevant to assessing the claims of pending patent applications. Peer-to-Patent provides an opportunity to open
up the closed patent review process to more information and enable better decision making and improve the patent
system by avoiding the issuance of overly broad patents. Linux Defenders is working in cooperation with the
established Peer-to-Patent program to create a portal for the Linux and open source community to participate in
the program and provide parallel initiatives with the same common goal of improving patent quality and enabling
freedom of action/freedom to operate.
Post-Issue Peer to Patent
Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent takes a community-based approach to peer review for issued patents. In recent years
the USPTO has at times been overwhelmed by the number of patent applications being filed in areas of new
technology, such as software and business methods. Lacking access to comprehensive prior art in these subject
matter areas, the USPTO had little choice but to grant patents that would otherwise have failed the test of
patentability had relevant prior art been before the examiner. The rigor is provided by the community of peer
reviewers who elect to participate in the review of issued patents and support the invalidation of poor quality
patents and the patent office’s goal of improving the quality of future issued patents.
Defensive publications, which are endorsed by the USPTO as an IP rights management tool, are documents that
provide descriptions and artwork of a product, device or method so that it enters the public domain and becomes
prior art upon publication. This powerful preemptive disclosure prevents other parties from obtaining a patent
on a product, device or method that is known though not previously patented. It enables the original inventor to
ensure access to the invention across the community by preventing others from later making patent claims on it.