• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Extends Green Technology Pilot Program
  • November 15, 2010
  • Law Firm: Jackson Walker L.L.P. - Austin Office
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) just announced that it will extend the deadline for filing petitions under its "Green Technology Pilot Program."  This unique program was created to promote the development of green technologies by allowing for expedited processing of patent applications for such technologies. A "green technology" for purposes of the program generally means a claimed invention that: materially enhances the quality of the environment by contributing to the restoration or maintenance of one of the basic life-sustaining natural elements, or materially contributes to (a) the development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or (b) greenhouse gas emission reduction.  Applications must meet certain other requirements in order to qualify for this program.

    The PTO indicates that use of this program enables applicants to obtain a patent much more quickly than as compared to its standard examination process.  In fact, the PTO notes that some patent applications in this program have been issued within one (1) year of the filing date, and the current average time between the approval of the green technology petition and the first action on an application is just 49 days.

    As the PTO noted in its press release, "[e]arlier patenting of these technologies can help investors secure funding, create businesses, and bring vital green technologies to market much sooner."  See, www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2010/10&under;55.jsp.

    There is limited opportunity to participate in this program.  The program is only extended for the first 3,000 applications filed on or before December 31, 2011.