Getting Started with Peer-to-Patent Australia

Peer-to-Patent Australia invites members of the public to bring their expertise to bear to share information, knowledge and insight to assist patent examiners to identify relevant prior art needed to properly assess participating patent applications. You don't have to be an Australian to participate - we welcome contributors from all parts of the world.

To learn more about how you can contribute to this effort:

  • Read this page to find specific instructions for using the website.
  • Watch our Peer-to-Patent videos which include instructions and perspectives about the project.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for background on the project and patent law in general.
PEER-TO-PATENT VIDEOS
Tutorial on using Peer-to-Patent Australia website.
Voice over by Ben McEniery.More Videos
HERE IS HOW PEER-TO-PATENT WORKS
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STEP 1. Review and discuss patent applications

To review participating patent applications you first need to find an active application on the website that is of interest to you. To find an application you can either select an active application from the application list or search for one using the website's search facility.

Once you find an active patent application you wish to review, click on its title to read more about it. Clicking on an application's title will take you to the application's Activity page. The Activity page displays basic information about the application and is the starting point for reviewing an application.

The Activity page is also the place where you can add key words, or 'tag' an application, to help identify the nature of the invention concerned.

On the right-hand side of the Activity page you will see several useful links in green boxes. These links allow you to access the following features of the website.

  • The Discussion page facilitates communication between reviewers. On the Discussion page you can post comments or request information from others. This is a good place to meet other reviewers and to coordinate your research efforts.
  • On the Prior Art page you can read the prior art references that have been submitted by other reviewers, vote on the relevance of those prior art references and submit relevant prior art references. It is this prior art and the related annotations that will be forwarded to IP Australia at the end of the review period to assist the patent examiner determine whether the patent sought will be granted.
  • The Research page is where you can find the research work that has already been done to assist the community of reviewers to understand the technology behind the patent application. On the Research page you can find a list of search resources for conducting your own research. Note that these search resources are general search resources and are not necessarily specific to the application on which you are working.
  • Finally, there are two additional tabs on the right-hand side. One is for subscribing to this application so that you can be alerted when new materials have been posted, and the second permits you to easily invite another person to participate in the review of the application.
STEP 2. Research and find prior art

On the Prior Art page you can read the prior art references that have been submitted by other reviewers, vote on the relevance of those prior art references and submit relevant prior art references. It is this prior art and the related annotations that will be forwarded to IP Australia at the end of the review period to assist the patent examiner determine whether the patent sought will be granted.

Any activity you engage in on the Prior Art page should be informed by what you learn from the Research page. The Research page allows you to list any research that you have done and to learn about the research done by other reviewers. For example, if a prior art search turned up no results, posting that result here will help others avoid replicating your work.

STEP 3. Upload prior art relevant to claims

If you have conducted your search and have found prior art that you believe is relevant to the application in question you can submit it on the Prior Art page.

Please note that you should not feel compelled to submit prior art and that you should only submit prior art that you feel will assist a patent examiner in determining whether the invention claimed in the patent application is novel and inventive. Even if you cannot locate prior art references, you can still make a valuable contribution to the project by reviewing, voting on and commenting on prior art submitted by others.

STEP 4. Annotate and evaluate all submitted prior art

Once you have reviewed the prior art that has been submitted, you can annotate that prior art and vote on its relative merits.

Annotating prior art is important because is helps the patent examiner understand why the prior art is relevant and important. For example, you may add an annotation telling the examiner that the relevant passage in the prior art is on page 3 in paragraph 2.

To add an annotation:

  1. Go to the prior art that you wish to annotate. From the prior art list click View Full Prior Art on the item you want to annotate
  2. Scroll to the bottom where there is a field for annotations
  3. Type in your annotation and click 'submit'
STEP 5. Prior Art references are forwarded to IP Australia

After the review period, which typically lasts 90 days, the top ten prior art references nominated and voted for by the community of peer reviewers for the patent application in question are listed in a report compiled by the Peer-to-Patent Australia project team. That report is forwarded to IP Australia. Once received at IP Australia, the report will be considered by the patent examiner responsible for examining the patent in question.

At the end of the review period, the application will be moved from the active list to the archived list on the Peer-to-Patent Australia website. While you are able to read archived applications, you cannot update them by adding comments, votes, or prior art.

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DOWNLOAD FIRST ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Download the Peer-to-Patent Australia First Anniversary Report here.
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PEER-TO-PATENT AUSTRALIA ACTIVITY
All
Upload + Explain Prior Art
106 submitted
Discuss Patent Applications
117 comments posted

Size of Community: 155
Annotate and Evaluate Prior Art
25 prior art ratings
106 citations
Research Prior Art
6 research notes