The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is understaffed and overwhelmed. Could the answer to its problems lie in crowdsourcing the patent-review process? Could crowdsourcing result in better patents?

This week on the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we look at the Peer-to-Patent system, an innovative pilot project run jointly by the USPTO and the Center for Patent Innovations, a research and development arm of New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy. The project just completed its second year of operation and its future is now under review. It uses crowdsourcing and the power of the Internet at large to help vet applications for business-methods and software patents.

Joining us to discuss this experiment in crowdsourcing of patent review are two guests:

  • Prof. Mark Webbink, executive director of the Center for Patent Innovations and the former senior vice president and general counsel at Red Hat, the premier Linux and open source vendor.
  • Stephanie Scruggs, an intellectual-property partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hanify & King, where she focuses on patent litigation, patent prosecution, and product clearance and patent validity opinions.

Listen to or download this week’s program at the Legal Talk Network.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.