Improving the patent system: Peer to Patent project on Second Life

by Andy Oram

Somewhere among the readers of the O'Reilly Network are people who know something relevant to pending software patents. For instance, you might have seen papers, conference presentations, or actual working code similar to a "Cooperative mechanism for efficient application memory allocation" or a "User selectable management alert format."

The US Patent and Trademark Office wants your help. Through the Peer to Patent project you can look for prior art, discuss its relevance with other people in your field, and tell the patent office why they should take it into consideration--and you'll be listened to.

At noon Pacific time today (June 18), members of the Peer-to-Patent project team will discuss the project on the New York Law School's Democracy Island in Second Life. This is sure to be informative for anyone interested in public policy regarding inventions, and perhaps a memorable occasion in a project that could change how government interacts with citizens.