re: Patent Office Presents $50,000 Innovation Challenge
"A better way to examine illustrations that are key to whether a patent application is approved or not is specifically what the USPTO is looking for from challenge participants, Steffen said."
"Generally in applications, information on illustrations will be scattered on different pages of the document and the patent examiner must "flip back and forth between the textual description and the drawings," she wrote. This, naturally, slows down the process considerably."
PTO rules require that the figures be separate from the text. Examination is now electronic, and examiners have dual monitors, to show text and figures or claims and prior art, concurrently. Illustrations in PATENT documents are not "scattered", but in sequence, and are coded in the electronic file (IFW) separately from the text.
Is there any allegation fronm the PTO (and not the Office of Science and Technology Policy) that "illustrations that are key to whether a patent application is approved or not". We (that is, patent folks) all thought it was the _claims_ that mattered. Are there folks out there that really think that the patent examiner has to search millions of pages to find the pretty pictures, and if he/she likes them, the patent is granted?... And, the examiners need fancy algorithms to find the pictures?
Exactly what issue is being addressed here (in this story)? I believe there is a miscommunication. The contest rules and purpose appear clear, and this story fails to do justice to the topic.