CrowdIPR aims to help anyone with their 'prior art' research, by collecting information on intellectual property through crowdsourcing.
Big brands such as Nike and Best Buy have already been involved in initiatives such as GreenXchange, a tool to help them share and research environmentally-friendly product design and patents. Harnessing the power of the crowds, CrowdIPR aims to make a similar service available to everyone. Businesses or entrepreneurs who have come up with a new idea or product can sign up to CrowdIPR and post the details of their projects on the site. Other users can then provide information about similar products that already exist, in the form of patent documents or academic research. Each reply can be commented on and rated, with the researchers providing the most relevant references and users giving the most valuable feedback being rewarded with ‘karma’ points or cash. Those looking to use the site for intellectual property research – also called ‘prior art’ research – can sign up to the Basic package for free, which offers up to 30 references, or the Professional option for USD 200 per project, which includes unlimited references, ratings data and web and phone support. In the future, CrowdIPR aims to introduce its Expert package, which will enable users to get help carrying out investigations while keeping their idea confidential to only the most skilled site researchers. Crowdsourcing has proved itself to be a versatile model and fits well as a method to help with the dissemination of information. Could researchers in your field benefit from a similar tool? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel