Welcome to the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent Website at http://www.post-issue.org (the "Website").
Thank you for participating in this effort to improve the U.S. patent system by helping reduce the number of non-meritorious issued patents.
The goal of the Website is to provide the relevant and useful information that should have been considered during the patent application process but which has not previously been identified. Along with our sister project, Peer-to-Patent, we look to build a transparent, open and vibrant community of patent peer reviewers.
To achieve this goal and enable a better and more effective experience for everyone, we require that you adhere to the following Community Code of Conduct when using the Website. Contributors to the Website are expected to know these requirements and to follow them in all circumstances.
We hope that you will have a rewarding experience.
1.0 Interactions with other Peers/Contributors
1.1 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. Better information results in higher quality patents.
Contributors shall participate with decorum and courtesy. Contributors shall not behave or communicate in a rude, insensitive, or petty manner. Contributors shall refrain from offending others as well as discourage others from being uncivil. Contributors shall refrain from unwanted communication with other Contributors outside the context of the Website. Contributors shall not make personal attacks anywhere on the Website. Personal attacks damage the community and deter participation.
1.3 Educate Yourself for Participation
Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent contains educational materials to help prepare Contributors for submitting prior art relating to a patent application’s claims. Please make use of these materials, consistent with your background, to optimize the effectiveness of your contributions.
1.4 Commercial Solicitation
No Contributor shall 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.
2.0 Disclosure and Self-Identification
2.1 Contributor Account
Contributors shall utilize a single e-mail account when submitting content to the Website. 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 shall submit content under an e-mail address containing their own name or a neutral pseudonym. Contributors are encouraged (but not required) to use their own names; by appearing with a name rather than a pseudonym, Contributors help to create a strong community.
Pseudonyms shall not be misleading, offensive or infringing. A pseudonym should not be the name of another natural person, nor be designed to mislead in any way.
3.0 Providing Commentary and Prior Art
3.1 Moderators and Facilitators
The Website is moderated by the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent project team, which reserves the right to not post or to remove content with or without notice to the Contributor posting the content. Offensive and commercial content, including spam, will be removed.
The Website is further enabled by volunteer Facilitators. The role of the Facilitator is to encourage informed participation on the Website. Facilitators cannot remove content but can recommend to the Moderators that content by removed.
3.2 Posting, in General
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 characterize the patent application or to demonstrate the relevance or irrelevance of a prior art submission to the patent application or its claims. 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 mischaracterize the content of a patent application or a prior art submission.
3.3 Peer Contributor Point of View
Contributors shall use clear language at a level accessible to anyone with an average background in the field. Explanations should be clear to the other contributors of the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent community.
3.4 Verifiability of Prior Art
Contributors shall cite sources for prior art they submit. Contributors shall check the accuracy of the citations, and verify that submitted prior art has been published. Contributors are also invited to verify the accuracy of other Contributors’ cites.
3.5 Prior art Submission
Contributors shall submit prior art that predates the filing date of the patent under review. Contributors shall submit the best-known prior art references most likely to be relevant in judging the claims of a patent application. Contributors may submit prior art already contained in the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent or Peer-to-Patent databases, from a third-party website or other sources.
Contributors are required to identify:
• Claims to which the prior art is relevant (i.e. clicking on those that apply)
• Type of prior art (i.e. issued patent, published patent application, journal article, book excerpt, etc.)
• Publication date of prior art
• Link to online location for that prior art (if available)
• Excerpt of the most relevant portions of the prior art (this is especially important where the prior art is not available on-line for others to view)
• Summary description of the prior art
• Explanation of the relevance of the prior art to each claim of the application (i.e. a Contributor-provided annotation of the submitted prior art to indicate which portion should be read by subsequent Contributors, and ultimately by the patent examiner, and why)
• Elements (all, some or none) of the claim to which the prior art applies
• 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 abstract and summary, which will be available to the public for review.
Contributors must upload a digitized file of the submitted prior art. This uploaded file will be made available to the party requesting the patent review if the prior art is selected as being in the top 10 for relevance. It will NOT be made publicly available.
3.6 Prior Art Rating and Ranking
Contributors shall vote on whether submitted prior art belongs in the Top 10 list of prior art.
Voting shall be on the basis of relevance of the prior art reference and not other factors (e.g. humor, style, bias for or against the inventor(s) or assignee of the published application under review or the prior art reference).
Contributors can vote once on each item of prior art. That vote can be changed up until the deadline but you may only vote once. You can also add a brief annotation, explaining why you believe the art to be relevant or not and specify whether the prior art is relevant to all, some or none of the elements of the application’s claims.
4.0 Interactions with Patent Holders
4.1 Contributors – Holders
Contributors shall not contact the patent holder for any discussion or clarification of patents or information contained in the patent in connection with the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent process.
5.0 Additional Obligations of Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent participants (Patent Submitters and Contributors)
5.1 Patent Submitters
5.2 Willful Infringement
Submitters who hold title to the submitted patent shall not seek enhanced damages for willful infringement merely because an alleged infringer became aware of a patent as a result of participation in Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent Review.
Updated: December 1, 2008