Green ideas get a boost from USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program

December 8, 2010, will mark the one-year anniversary of the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program. The twelve month mark also signals the end of the program (barring any extensions by the USPTO) implemented to “accelerate the development and deployment of green technology, create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness in this vital sector,” according to a USPTO news release.

In an effort to shuffle to the head of the line patents “pertaining to environmental quality, or energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas reduction,” the program granted certain pending “green technology” patent applications the eligibility to be given expedited examination. The current average wait for a final decision on these patents is 40 months. The program aims to reduce that time by a year.

Photo by Chuck Coker. Some rights reserved.

The specific requirements for participation in the program were laid out in the federal register shortly after the USPTO’s announcement. However, one condition in particular – limiting participation to applications in only certain green technologies – ruffled the feathers of some potential participants, who found the requirement unnecessarily restrictive. The USPTO later overturned the restriction, opening participation to applicants from any technology areas.

Foley & Lardner recently published an update examining the impact of the program so far (see the fifth story down). The program was originally capped at 3,000 participants, and 1,500 petitions have been filed so far. Of those, more than 700 have been granted approval for participation in the program. The USPTO released this short but sweet “report” with the exact numbers late last month. Interested inventors with qualified pending applications (filed before December 8, 2009) are still invited to apply.

One response to this post.

  1. […] agency feeling compelled to usher “green” projects to the front of the line (see: USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program). Care to tell them your opinion? Though it is unclear when the proposal will be published in the […]


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