Patent reform project hiring a Ruby on Rails programmer
by Andy Oram
This is not an ordinary job posting; it's a chance to get paid for public service. The project is developing software for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is being closely watched in the UK too. It implements a process to let experts in multiple fields to submit prior art and other information related to patents.
This project has the potential to alleviate some of the problems universally recognized with patents (particularly patents that should have rejected because of prior art) and can serve as a model for other projects that open up government to the public.
Among the companies that have already agreed to submit patents for this process are IBM, Microsoft, Computer Associates, and General Electric.