In its ongoing efforts to improve the examination of software patents and resolve continued concerns over their quality, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has partnered with IBM, Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the open-source community to try and achieve this goal. Among the proposals is the idea of establishing a searchable database containing an index of open-source computer code. This database should make it easier for software code developers and patent examiners to locate relevant prior art.
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