Ask Patents

Ask Patents is a community-driven Q&A website, for people interested in learning about, improving and participating in the US patent system.  

A key focus area of Ask Patents is to facilitate a community that works together to find Prior Art on dangerous and overly broad US Patent Applications before these applications become issued Patents.  When relevant prior art is uncovered Ask Patents alerts the US Patent Examiner of record via the new AIA third party submission process. 

An early challenge the Ask Patents team faced was in efficiently tracking how and when each prior art submission was impacting patent prosecution.  To solve this problem, we worked with The Patent Box to develop a custom PAIR monitoring and reporting process.

Ask Patents now uses The Patent Box's Public PAIR monitoring service to understand how and when Prior Art uncovered by the Ask Patents community impacts the prosecution of associated pending patent applications.  On a weekly basis, The Patent Box synchs applications that are of interest to the Ask Patent community with Public PAIR.  Using the My File Wrappers dashboard we’re able to see new file wrapper activity and explore how US Patent Examiners are applying the prior art submitted by Ask Patents.  The My File Wrappers dashboard also allows us to pull this information in spreadsheet form which we can process offline to generate our own reports. 

The Patent Box’s PAIR monitoring tool has been an invaluable asset in helping us very quickly track and understand the Ask Patents community's impact on the US Patent System.  

-The Ask Patents Team