"Qualcomm v. Broadcom. Amazon v. IBM. Apple v. seemingly everyone. The number of high-profile patent lawsuits in this country has reached a staggering level. Hoping to curtail the orgy of tech-industry litigation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is experimenting with reforming the way patents are applied for and processed. Launching on 18 June 2007 was an Internet-based peer-review program whereby anyone (yes, even you) can help to evaluate a number of software patent applications voluntarily submitted for public evaluation. The one-year pilot Peer-to-Patent program is a collaboration between the USPTO and New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy, in New York City. The program's Web site allows users to weigh in on patent applications by researching, evaluating, submitting, and discussing prior art, which is any existing information, such as articles in technology journals and other patents, relevant to the applicant's claims."
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