"Review of Patent Applications by Outside Parties: The 'Peer to Patent' Pilot Program," John J. Cunniff, Esq.

Patent applications have traditionally been reviewed exclusively by Patent Office personnel, with very limited input permitted from outside parties. However, a newly-expanded pilot program may allow some applications to be reviewed by outside parties if the application falls within certain classes. Program participants will likely avoid normal delays during the examination process, and taking this "extra step" may bolster the patent owners case if the validity of an issued patent is later challenged; however, all of the ramifications of participating in this program may not yet be clear.