Thursday, 20 October 2011

Crowdsourcing The Patent Process

Over the last decade the number of patents filed every has risen to over 6 million, making it increasingly difficult to research an idea before filing a patent application. Given there are so many patent applications on record this looks like a job for crowdsourcing, a mantle that CrowdIPR has been quick to take up.

CrowdIPR is an Estonian startup platform that looks to take the burden of the patent research for prior art off the shoulders of the designer/innovator by tapping into the wisdom of the crowd. Before submitting a patent application it is necessary to carry out extensive research of the intended product. This involves meticulously reviewing everything that has been published relating to the idea. This task can be costly as you would need the services of patent lawyer or industry expert as well as time consuming and must be thorough to ensure nothing is missed. Patent attorney Mikk Putk had the idea for CrowdIPR when he was faced the vast amount of information encountered in prior art searches for new patents. 




There are of course other platforms available that are designed to make research easier and cost effective, such as Google Patents. However it lacks the depth and quality of results that you would get from a patent lawyer. CrowdIPR provides a combination of both cost effective easily obtained results with the high quality of a patent lawyer by crowdsourcing technology experts, designers etc from all over the world.
I have spent thousands of hours on priror art and patents studies over the past several years. While the process is often very interesting and occasionally even fun, it has not been without serious headaches. If you have ever dealt with such searches yourself, you are most likely nodding in agreement. Finding the right information is like looking for a needle in a haystack. -Mikk Putk, 3 Reasons for Crowdsourcing Patent Research
CrowdIPR offers benefits to both innovators looking to file their patents, and industry experts. For those looking to file patents, there is the cost advantage whereby a fixed fee can be negotiated with the experts rather than hiring someone on an hourly basis. CrowdIPR also offers its clients wider access to a broad range of knowledge, skills and language requirements. Industry experts and those with the right knowledge can earn additional income joining CrowdIPR's global community of service providers and calling on their wealth of knowledge and experience advising clients on potential patents and assisting them in their search for prior art.

Although founded in Estonia, CrowdIPR is now operating from an incubator in Newcastle provided by ignite100, an accelerator program that provides office space, seed capital, and mentoring to new startups. CrowdIPR is currently operating as a private beta platform however with the number of new patents emerging, the demand for quality research and results which crowdsourcing can provide could soon propel the fledgling platform into a leading service provider.

Source; Arctic Startup
Image Credit; Mr T in DC

1 comment:

  1. The goal is to develop specialized algorithms to help digitize the seven million patents presently in the patent archive. Will this help in crowdsourcing patents?

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