Two Clean Tech Applications Enter Peer-to-Patent Review

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US Patent OfficeTwo U.S. patent applications in clean technology have opened themselves up to community peer review.

The first patent application filed by General Electric and developed with support of the Department of Energy, seeks patent protection for a predictive algorithm that controls and optimizes power dispatch in a microgrid (Pre-Grant Publication no. 20090062969).  Click to participate.

The second patent application, filed by Consolidated Edison of New York, seeks patent protection for a controller that schedules charging of hybrid vehicles on local electric grids (Pre-Grant Publication no. 20090062967).  Click to participate.

This is a unique opportunity for the clean tech community to provide input to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) during examination of these patent applications.  Peer-to-patent review is a first-of-its kind pilot project that opens the normally closed patent examination process to receive contributions of prior art from peers in industry, government, or academia.  This art is vetted by the peer community to determine the top ten most pertinent prior art submissions.  These top submissions are then automatically provided to the USPTO patent examiners.  In this way, the examiners have even better information on existing state-of-the-art technology when they assess patentability of the clean tech applications at hand.  Companies and organizations willing to have their patent applications undergo peer review receive the benefit of having their applications examined out of order which can be much sooner for many backlogged cases.

The peer-to-patent pilot project has been mostly limited to software-related inventions.  In this case, the software inventions strongly overlap with clean technology.  As a result, this is a unique opportunity for the clean tech industry to demonstrate a commitment to improving patent examination and search quality by stepping forward on these two patent applications.  The White House listed Peer-to-Patent as an example of Open Government Initiatives.

These two clean tech patent applications are only available for review for a limited time.  Known art (articles, patents, product literature, etc.) and comments need to be submitted as soon as possible and no later than June 25, 2009.

-Michael Messinger Mike was involved in the early development of the peer-to-patent project and serves on its advisory board.

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