USPTO Invites Public Comments on Prior Art Resources for Software Patents

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
January 6, 2014

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invites public comments on prior art resources for software patents as a follow-up to last month’s Software Partnership Meeting. The deadline for comments is March 14, 2014.

The USPTO specifically would like comments on the following questions:

  1. What specific databases, websites, tools and other resources do you find useful in searching for software-related inventions? Please indicate strengths and limitations of each resource.

  2. What are your concerns regarding the manner in which USPTO examiners formulate and implement search strategies to identify prior art for software related inventions? How should these concerns be addressed?

The USPTO also invites comments on how the agency can enhance prior art searching through the use of search strategies, tools, and databases.

Additional information about the “Request for Comments Regarding Prior Art Resources for Use in the Examination of Software-Related Patent Applications” is available at:

The agenda, video, and presentation slides from the Software Partnership Meeting on Prior Art on December 5, 2013, are available at:

A list of electronic prior art resources used by USPTO patent examiners is available at: