A website for accessing and commenting on patent applications is being launched by the Intellectual Property Office.

The Peer To Patent website will go live on 1 June, for a pilot that runs until the end of the year.

The pilot will cover IT patents only, as with similar pilots that have already taken place at the equivalent patent offices in the US and Australia.

Until now, members of the public could access the existing IPO home page and search for particular patents. The new site aims to present the information more clearly, in one place, and to allow easier commenting from users.

"The US pilots showed that in up to a sixth of cases, the sites encouraged comments that were actually quoted by patent examiners in their decisions," said Matthew Navarra, Peer to Patent communications manager at the IPO.

The UK pilot staff were working with their US counterparts to "share experiences" and to help the site's development, said Navarra. "We will also have a Peer to Patent blog, which will highlight developments," he added.

An information page, running ahead of the launch, is available here.