There are some recent posts using ask patents as a vehicle to document/"publish" the poster's own inventions that are improvements to cited patent documents and to solicit joint invention via AP. My view is that publishing of one's own inventions to invoke the AIA 102 (b) (1) (b ) "first to publish" or any other reason is off-topic. And while crowd sourcing a new invention might be a worthwhile experiment, it is a different experiment than AP and is not a Q and A oriented task. Actually doing that would require people to be named and to have some joint inventorship agreement for it to be meaningful, in my opinion.

  • Do you have any links to the "recent posts" that you were talking about? Also, do you mind elaborating on what would be the difference between posting the inventions here on AskPatents, as opposed to posting them on a blog like Blogger?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 3:36
  • This is a very old thread. The difference is to the Ask Patents reader and users. AP was set up to cover a specific set of topics and like all SE sites has a fairly strict q & a format. The type of post the thread was talking about are not on-topic and are not in the site's q&A format. No SE site is set up for people to dump things. To the poster - it would be ineffective because it would likely get deleted and then not sure the intended purpose.
    – George White Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 20:59
  • I mean assuming someone wanted to publish his invention, wouldn't posting on Blogger simply do fine? Why does he need to post his invention on AskPatents?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 21:05
  • One poster was trying to use AP as a community of collaborating co-inventors with anonymous co-inventors evolving an invention is public. Another thought that inventing things, collectively, out in front of important technologies would be away to advance this sites goals of reducing overly broad patents. In that idea we would not only be people looking for prior are but people trying to invent things that would be prior art to future patent attempts.
    – George White Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


Our top focus has always been questions soliciting prior art that might serve to improve the quality of patents, but we do also welcome questions directly related to specific patents and the patenting process. That said...

While there's nothing inherently off-topic about asking patent questions related to your invention, it is off topic to ask inventing questions just because they were inspired by a patent.

ON Topic Example - this patent question has to do with my own invention:

I've invented a device that barks when it's my dog's turn to go in Words with Friends. I'm concerned that the prior art labeled "woof-signal" below could invalidate claim 4 of my patent. My question is this - if that claim is deemed invalid by the examiner, would one claim being rejected affect the examination of the other claims? Put another way, if I think that claim is likely to be a problem, is it more advisable to remove it up front, or doesn't it matter?

It works because it's about the patent, and how things do or don't get patented.

OFF Topic Example - this inventing question was inspired by a patent:

This "ice-cream-glove" patent describes a wearable device designed to help ice-cream lovers (with hands) to minimize digital stickiness. How can we design another glove, or perhaps a mitten, that could even more effectively reduce undue dripping?

It's a fine question or discussion, and such innovation collaboration would be great, but it's not a good fit for this site, because it's not really about patents; it's about inventing. The patent referenced is simply an inspiration.

It's little like if you took a screenshot from a video game, and asked how to take real-world photos that would capture a similar effect to the one depicted in the game image. It's a totally valid question for a photography site, but not for a video game one.


PatentStack has been "sold" to the PTO as a potential site for Preissuance Submission Services - as noted by the PTO's Patent Reform Coordinator (taken from the PTO's slides)-

•Patent Stack Exchange –Uses crowd sourcing to collect potential printed publications –https://patents.stackexchange.com/

The site is being "sold" to the PTO for integration into the searching process to make examinations more meaningful. If you preclude posting of inventions preissuance, how are you helping? What are the examiners suppose to find? Why would they even search the site if there is not preissuance posting? Preissuance posting allows identification of art early in the process and makes it available to the examiners. It helps the PTO send out better patents.

The way you are limiting the site it looks like shill for companies trying to dump art and not having to deal with the estoppel issues. Hiding art only perpetuates the issue of quality reviews.

  • 1
    There are other places to publish both defensively and otherwise. The idea of examiners searching is that they could quickly for any and all posts tagged with a particular application number to get info to aid in the examination of THAT application. The answer above does not preclude an inventor asking questions about their invention.
    – George White Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 22:41
  • In other words, this site does not support collecting prior art prior to PTO review. This site has no use to the PTO in examining pending applications. Shame because if you helped collect prior art per-filing you could help the PTO. As it is your reputation points are really not worth much of anything. Nobody is going to give away free post-grant searches.
    – user3359
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 22:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .