Sep 20th, 2012

Starting today, you can help make the world a better place thanks to a (desperately needed) change in patent law allowing 3rd parties the ability to challenge ridiculous patents filed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. At one time illegal, now all you’ll need to do is dig up enough evidence to support your claim and along with your comments, it can all be sent directly to the USTPO for review and further analysis.

Brought to you by good guy Google and the folks at the Stack Exchange who’s work in conjunction with the Patent Office, make the whole process even easier for those wanting to keep the world safe from patent trolls. Jumping onto will give “patent troll hunters” the resources they need to discuss sketchy patents, validity, or prior art with others, where evidence can be filed to the USTPO with minimal effort. Google is doing their part by linking disputed patents found on their handy patent search site to Stack Exchange discussions. Bad boys, bad boys, what’cha gonna do when we come for you…

Currently, there aren’t rewards in place for patent busters, but users will awarded badges for bragging rights once they’ve successfully taken down a patent. This is yet another instance where crowd sourcing can work in everyone’s favor and I can already hear the patent trolls squealing in horror. As a bonus, here’s a quick link to a patent I dug up, filed by some dudes named Jonathan Ive and Steve Jobs. It’s an electronic doohickey they apparently “invented” and you might find vaguely familiar. [Patent D504889]

“Ahhhh, what’s up, doc?”

“Shhhhh… I’m huntin’ patents.”

[Wired | Thanks, Adam!]