On March 5, the Washington Post reported that “the government is about to start opening up the process of reviewing patents to the modern font of wisdom: the Internet.” While there has yet to be an official announcement from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) about the “Peer to Patent Project,” a great deal of discussion of the program is already available. Where? On the Internet, of course.

Although the concept has the attraction of using the power of the Internet to solve resource problems at the PTO, it is quixotic to think that volunteer peers can provide a uniform and consistent review of all patent applications. There are simply too many filings, even for the Internet.