The US Patent Office is launching a wiki to help review patent applications: they will not only post the applications, they will “use a rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top,” a la Digg.com. It’s a pilot project — and companies will have to agree to have their application reviewed publicly. But this is a great — even though it starts with software!
At ZD, Mitch Radcliffe links this development with LegalForce, an intellectual property marketplace. He believes the marketplace is essential to transforming the patent review process. It “makes the patent database … easy to use and relevant.”
According to Wikinomics, P&G has already opened its patents to the outside world and has a goal of 50% of new product and service ideas originating from outside the company — by 2010. The authors also note that on average, companies use only about 10% of the patents that they hold. Seems like this opening-up of science and R&D builds on the momentum of sites like InnoCentive and Yet2.com.