At the Nudge blog, transparent governments that hold a running two-way dialogue with their citizenry are considered better governments. New York Law School professor and guest blogger Beth Simone Noveck takes up transparency and participation in this post about a creative program that opens up the patent process to the American people and asks for their input. Noveck created the idea, called Peer-to-Patent (the NYLS web site about the project is here), which in its first year has already changed how patents are reviewed and approved by bringing new voices and new knowledge into the process.
At New York Law School, Noveck teaches intellectual property, innovation, electronic democracy, and constitutional law. She is also the McClatchy Visiting Associate Professor of Communication at Stanford University. Brookings Press will publish her book, Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, next year.
Patents by the people
By Beth Simone Noveck
A year ago this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in cooperation with New York Law School and a network of corporate and academic reformers, began a first-of-its-kind experiment in participatory democracy. Designed to capitalize on the expertise and knowledge of the American people, the Peer-to-Patent pilot was implemented to connect the Patent Office to an open network of scientific and technical experts to assist with the examination of pending patent applications in the hi-tech industry.