A new company called Article One Partners offers an online community to test the validity of approved patents. Article One, which launched this week, hopes to use the Internet to create a global community of experts to review patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The idea is to tap the wisdom of the online masses to unearth "prior art" — evidence that an invention is not novel and therefore doesn't deserve a patent — that the Patent Office may not have known about when it approved the application. They will pay contributors up to $50,000 if they provide evidence that invalidates a patent.
Here is an interview with patent attorney Cheryl Milone, the founder and CEO of Article One Partners.