Code of Conduct

The Peer-to-Patent Australia website (the "Website") is designed to operate as a forum to facilitate the review of patent applications by a transparent, open and vibrant community of self-selecting members of the public.

To achieve this objective and enable a better and more effective experience for everyone, we require that you adhere to the following Code of Conduct when using the Website.

Interactions with Contributors

Assume good faith

Assume that Contributors to the Website are trying to help it, not hurt it. Enabling a larger and more diverse community to submit prior art related to a pending patent application will better inform a patent examiner.


Contributors shall participate with decorum and courtesy. Contributors shall not behave or communicate in a rude, insensitive, or petty manner. Contributors shall refrain from initiating unwanted communication with other contributors outside the context of the Website. Contributors shall refrain from offending others and shall not make personal attacks anywhere on the Website.

Commercial Solicitation

Contributors shall not use the Website to advertise or perform any commercial solicitation, including, but not limited to, solicitation of Contributors to become subscribers of other web sites.

Disclosure and self-identification

Contributor Account

Contributors shall register one and only one account. Contributors may not use multiple accounts to create the illusion of greater support for, or criticism against a submission, or to mislead in any way.


Contributors may register under their own name or a pseudonym. Contributors are encouraged (but not required) to register under their own names. If a contributor wishes to be known by a pseudonym, that pseudonym shall not be misleading or offensive. A pseudonym should not be the name of another natural person or other entity, nor be designed to mislead in any way.

Credentials and qualifications

Contributors shall not claim false credentials or qualifications. All qualifications listed by a Contributor must be correct and verifiable.

Providing commentary and prior art


The Website is moderated by the Peer-to-Patent Australia project team which reserves the right to not post or to remove content with or without notice. Offensive or commercial content will be removed.

Posting content

Contributors shall post content (e.g. to the discussion area of the Website when submitting prior art or when annotating other prior art) in a specific, neutral, objective, and reasonable manner. These postings are intended to characterise the patent application or to demonstrate the relevance or irrelevance of a prior art submission. Postings are not intended as a personal critique of the submitters. Postings should be written in such a way as to guide and inform the patent examiner and other contributors. Contributors shall not mischaracterise the content of a patent application or a prior art submission.

Contributors shall use clear language at a level accessible to anyone with an average background in the field. Explanations should be clear to the patent examiner, to the inventor and to the other Contributors. Explanations and other comments are to be written in complete sentences and proof-read before being submitted.

Contributors shall cite sources for prior art that they submit. Contributors shall check the accuracy of the citations, and verify that submitted prior art has been published. The Contributor  warrants that it has the right to make the prior art publicly available on the Website (see section on Prior Art Submission below). Contributors are also invited to verify the accuracy of other Contributors’ citations.

Prior art submission

Contributors shall submit prior art that predates the filing date of the application under review. Contributors shall submit the best-known prior art references most likely to be relevant to a patent examiner in judging the claims of a patent application.

Contributors are required to identify

  • the claims to which any prior art they submit is relevant
  • the type of prior art (i.e. issued patent, published patent application, journal article, book excerpt, etc.)
  • the publication date (if known) of any prior art submitted (the year of publication must be given at a minimum)
  • a link to the online location of that prior art (the URL) if available and not password protected
  • an excerpt of the most relevant portions of the prior art (this is especially important where the art is not available on-line for others to view)
  • a summary description of the prior art
  • an explanation of the relevance of the prior art to each claim of the application
  • the elements of the claim to which the prior art applies and
  • any other bibliographic information (as appropriate).

Contributors shall, where possible, submit licensed prior art content that is already publicly available on-line (without requiring a password). If such broad access is not possible, Contributor should take particular care to write a careful summary, that describes the prior art and where it can be located.

Subject to legal restrictions, Contributors may upload a digitised file containing any prior art they submit at the time the prior art is submitted. If that particular prior art reference is selected as being one of the top 10 prior art references, the operators of the Website will forward the uploaded file to IP Australia. The operators of the Website will NOT make the uploaded file publicly available, either on the Website or elsewhere.

Rating and ranking prior art

Contributors may vote on whether submitted prior art belongs in the top 10 prior art references. The top 10 prior art references are forwarded to IP Australia at the end of the period during which the application the under peer review on the Website. Contributors can vote only once on each item of prior art.

Voting shall be on the basis of relevance of the prior art reference and not other factors (e.g. humour, style, bias for or against the inventor or assignee. Contributors shall only vote on submitted prior art if they have read that prior art and can form an educated opinion as to its relevance and ranking.

Contacting IP Australia and patent applicants is not permitted

Contributors shall not contact any patent applicant whose patent applications are, or have been, under review on the Website, unless the applicant has invited them to do so. Contributors shall not contact patent applicants to discuss or seek clarification of patent applications that are, or have been, under review on the Website.

Contributors shall not contact IP Australia or any representative of IP Australia regarding the review of patent applications on the Website, unless IP Australia has invited them to do so.

Contributors shall only contact Peer-to-Patent Australia if they wish to seek any discussion or clarification of patent applications or information contained in patent applications on the Website.

This Code of Conduct forms part of the Terms and Conditions of Use of this Website.

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Upload + Explain Prior Art
106 submitted
Discuss Patent Applications
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Research Prior Art
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