Code of Conduct

Welcome to the Peer-to-Patent Website at http://www.www.peertopatent.org (the “Website”).

Thank you for participating in this historic experiment to submit information to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) that is relevant to the determination of patentability.

The goal of the Website is to provide the most relevant and useful information to the USPTO while building a transparent, open and vibrant Peer To Patent Community.

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.

1.2 Civility
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
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

Please also see the Privacy Policy and Information Collection Statement for information about privacy and confidentiality of postings on the Website.

2.1 Contributor Account
Contributors shall register one and only one account. 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.

2.2 Username
Contributors shall register under their own name or a neutral pseudonym. Contributors are encouraged (but not required) to register under 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.

2.3 Credentials and Qualifications
Contributors shall not claim false credentials or qualifications; i.e. any certificates, education, or experience listed by a Contributor in his/her Peer-to-Patent profile must be verifiable.

3.0 Providing Commentary and Prior Art

3.1 Moderators and Facilitators
The Website is moderated by the 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 patent examiner, to the inventor and to the other contributors of the 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 application under review. Contributors shall submit the best-known prior art references most likely to be relevant to a PTO Examiner in judging the claims of a patent application. Contributors may submit prior art already contained in the Peer To Patent database, 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 forwarded to the USPTO 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 6 list of prior art to be forwarded to the USPTO.

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 the USPTO, with Patent Applicants

4.1 Contributors – Applicants
Contributors shall not contact the patent applicant for any discussion or clarification of patent applications or information contained in patent applications in connection with the Peer-to-Patent process.

4.2 Contributors – USPTO
Contributors shall not contact any USPTO representative (patent examiner, etc.) regarding patent applications under review in connection with the Peer To Patent process.

5.0 Additional Obligations of Peer To Patent participants (Applicants and Contributors)

5.1 Patent Applicants
To participate as a patent applicant in the Peer To Patent process, prospective applicants must execute the Applicant Consent Form, available on the USPTO site at XYZ [LINK], and comply with the obligations set forth there.

5.2 Willful Infringement
Participants shall not seek enhanced damages for willful infringement merely because an alleged infringer became aware of a patent application as a result of participation in Peer-to-Patent Review.

5.3 Duty of Disclosure
Participants shall not charge a patentee with breach of duty of disclosure (See Patent Regulations, 37 CFR §1.56) merely because the patentee became aware of a prior art reference as a result of participation in Peer to Patent Review.

This Community Code of Conduct forms part of the Terms of Use of this Website.

Updated: June 15, 2007