from the it'll-never-happen dept.
"In June, President Barack Obama called for action against patent trolls. Today the White House held a short conference updating what has happened in the arena of patent policy since then and announced new initiatives going forward — including one to 'crowdsource' the review of patents.
Currently, getting a patent is a one-on-one proceeding between the applicant and the examiner. Two pilot programs that allowed the public to submit prior art were only applied to a tiny number of patents, and in the first program, all the patents were voluntarily submitted by the applicants. Applying such scrutiny to a few hundred patents, out of the hundreds of thousands issued each year, isn't any kind of long-term solution.
Unless the crowd-sourcing initiatives were to put major new burdens on applicants — which would be resisted — the fundamentals of patent examination aren't going to change. Patent examiners get an average of eighteen hours to review a patent. Most importantly, examiners effectively can't say 'no' to applicants. They can reject a particular application, but there's no limit to the number of amendments and re-drafts an applicant can submit."