Stack Overflow has announced the launch of their latest mini project named Ask Patents.
Ask Patents is designed to let people submit their research material related to patents.
The idea is to crowd source discovery of prior art for under evaluation and existing patents.
The company said:
Ask Patents is a new Stack Exchange site launching today that allows anyone to participate in the patent examination process. It’s a collaborative effort, supported by Stack Exchange, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the Google Patent Search team. It’s very exciting, because it is opening up a process that has been conducted behind closed doors for over 200 years. Our hope is that Ask Patents will reduce the number of patents mistakenly granted for obvious, unoriginal non-inventions, especially around software, a field that is near and dear to us.