There are some companies out there that file for patents and then sues major companies for violating them. Sometimes the patents are irrelevant to their business which is why it makes things seem pretty unfair. Article One Partners launched a new business that encourages users to question whether certain patents are valid or not.
Article One has recently launched a new feature where clients can post requests for patent study or requests for “prior art.” Anyone that submits evidence for an invention that has been preceded by an earlier invention will be rewarded. Over 7 million patents have been issued since the 1790’s so there are chances for questionable inventions to slip through the cracks.
Another problem with patents that exist today is that foreign inventions can invalidate U.S. patents. Generally patent search engines index English language patent documents. This is why the web crowd becomes increasingly important when it comes to patent validation. In terms of revenue that can be earned, any expert that proves that a patent is inaccurate will receive $50,000 per research project and share 5% of Article One’s net profit.
Since Article One launched, CEO and founder Cheryl Malone said that since the company beta started in November 2008, about 33% of the studies have submitted invalidating evidence.