Peer-to-Patent Australia :First Anniversary Report, December 2010

Publication Date



Peer-to-Patent Australia will initially run as a 12 month pilot project designed to test whether an open community of reviewers can effectively locate prior art that might not otherwise be located by the patent office during a typical examination. Patent applications will be made available for peer review for a period of 6 months and there will follow a 6 month period of joint qualitative and quantitative assessment of the pilot project by IP Australia and QUT. The objective of Peer-to-Patent Australia is to improve the patent examination process and the quality of issued patents by utilising the knowledge and skills of experts in the broader community. It is a way of linking the scientific and technical expertise of anyone with an Internet connection with the expertise of a patent examiner. That community participation consists of members of the public reviewing patent applications and contributing relevant prior art references and comments within a web-based forum. The aim is to bring to light prior art, particularly non-patent prior art, that might otherwise not be identified by patent examiners. The better the prior art resources a patent examiner has at his or her disposal, the more likely a patent application will be assessed properly in terms of novelty and inventive step. The role of Peer-to-Patent Australia in this regard is to act as both a facilitator of discussion and a collector of prior art submissions. Peer-to-Patent Australia collects relevant prior art references on behalf of the reviewing community and forwards that prior art to IP Australia. Section 27 of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) allows for the Commissioner of Patents to receive submissions of prior art by third parties relevant to the novelty and inventiveness of a particular patent application.

Document Type

Open Access Report

Access Rights

Open Access


Copyright 2010 The Authors. Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 3.0 Australia