Sunday, October 04, 2009

Reviewed Proposal Paper - a new form of patent publication in scientific literature

I am developing, and proposing, a new subclass of scientific paper called a "Reviewed Proposal Paper" (RPP)  that allows an author or group to propose new scientific inquiry, thought, research, technology development or other advances, while supporting the rights and proprietary nature of the work, which is often funded by private investors.  Today, patent applications are usually ignored in the academic literature, yet patent applicants must consider academic publications as a matter of law.  This inconsistency has led to a knowledge disparity and unproductive conflict in the industrial sciences, in particular, which slows progress, and wastes or misdirects funding from both private and public sectors.

In addition to peer review, an RPP will track the disclosure format necessary to satisfy an improved, more well-vetted patenting process geared toward higher quality and valid patents.  Additionally, the RPP, if adopted, will open the vetting process for patents earlier than presently supported by the United State Patent Office publication rules, allow public, scientific, academic and industrial comment on patent applications, and provide a process for the supply of pertinent so-called "prior art", which would be collected in a database, and other public disclosures and publications made at a date earlier than the date of the RPP or its attendant patent filing.

The first RPP hasn't been written.  The review process hasn't been ascertained, nor have the potentially varied paths to publication, which could include academic journals, online publishing, and perhaps even multimedia been given enough consideration yet to propose.  These are the minimum requirements: A system, possibly one put in place on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis, could supply a framework to regulate the accumulation of qualified comments and contributions in the idea vetting process.  The barest essentials might consist of the following:

1. The RPP, available online on or after the date of first filing at the USPTO or other patent office working within the rules of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
2.   A references list of all references supplied initially (if any) by the author(s) of the RPP.
3.   A submitted references file in which any interested party may submit qualified references that are pertinent to the novelty, teaching and realization of the matter disclosed in the RPP, before the first date(s) of disclosure.
4.   The commenting section, in which submissions are either accepted or rejected, based upon relevance, date and other criteria, populated by at least one peer.
5.  The summary section, containing all the accumulated references-to-date, in a form that can be readily used and accessed by academia, industry, patent examiners, attorneys and others interested in the prosecution course.
6.  The response section, in which the author(s) of the RPP can further explain the matter in the RPP, and make amendments based upon newly uncovered prior art and other preceding publications and verifiable knowledge.

The system would run in stages paralleling the traditional patent process , such as the filing stage, the prosecution stage, the post-grant stage (where the standards for introducing new matter might require a higher materiality criteria), and even the reexamination stage, which this system would possibly reduce the need for.  Reexamination is a process of challenging a patent at the patent office, sometimes well after it has been granted.  It is sometimes used by well-funded entities to "clear a path" through patents they would otherwise have to pay royalties to use, and it avoidably wastes greater resources, time, money, and opportunity than if a more open system was in place.

The most fundamental concept of such a system, if adopted, would be to continue and make better the important deal between inventors and innovators, and the rights-granting bodies: In return for bringing forth the idea for the benefit of the public, the inventor receives a short period of exclusivity so that he or she may benefit from the value of the invention, and after that time, the invention becomes available to all. Today that short period is approximately 20 years.



Paper on Research said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

Anonymous said...

This is the part people forget - a patent is only for a couple of decades, at most. Then it becomes public domain. That's a lot shorter than copyright, for instance.

Bob Crowley said...

Think of the money that would be saved at the patent office.