New biodiversity atlas encourages sharing of knowledge

Photo: Superb Lyre Bird 1 by Ian Sanderson
The Atlas of Living Australia is a new Australian Government collaborative initiative led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Acting as a portal, the Atlas facilitates users to explore, combine and analyse information and data on Australian plants and animals. It includes authoritative species lists and classifications, mapping and identification tools, images, literature and occurrence records contributed by a number of data providers.

To help support that aim, the Atlas encourages contributing data providers to license their contributions under a Creative Commons licence. Specifically, because the Atlas wants to ensure content is open for downstream use, the Atlas does not support licensing under either of the two No Derivative Works licences.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Superb Lyre Bird 1‘ by Ian Sanderson, CC BY-NC 2.0 Generic.

Peers, patents, prior art: The launch of Peer-To-Patent Australia

funny pictures of cats with captions

Did you know that someone has a patent (US Patent 5443036) over using a laser pointer to exercise a cat? Serious. Likewise, The Walt Disney Company has a patent (US Patent 5392735) on a device for talking to dolphins (and perhaps even “whales and porpoises” too)? With approximately 1 million patents being applied for across the world each year the task of examiners especially in assessing new technologies has become increasingly difficult.

A new service in Australia will help sort the patent chaff. Starting this morning, the newly-launched Peer-To-Patent Australia project is designed to improve the process and the quality of issued patents by helping to assess whether an invention is new and inventive. How? With your help!