The Washington Post reports about another attempt by a patent office to enlist support from the Internet community for the examination of pending patent applications. This time once more the project is being driven by IBM in collaboration with academics. Previous projects of this kind include the "Software Patent Institute" of the early 1990s, the Bountyquest initiative of 2000, the priorart.org project, and many others. The FFII also has a database project that has been used to similar ends, but we are aware of the limitations. To solve the inefficiencies of patent examination, a more systematic reform is needed, in addition to an effective exclusion of software and other logical innovation from the realm of patentability.
The European Patent Office (EPO) is planning to introduce similar systems. Alberto Barrionuevo, vice president of FFII recently participated in an EPO seminar and explained the FFII's view.
Find more at http://eupat.ffii.org/07/03/uspto05/