The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stated Monday, December 7, that it will pilot a program to accelerate examination of certain green technology patents.

The pilot program will help green technologies reach the market more quickly and encourage innovators to invest in developing these technologies. In particular, applications pertaining to environmental quality, development of renewable energy resources, or greenhouse gas emission reduction may be advanced out of turn without meeting the requirements of the accelerated examination program, i.e., without having to provide an examination support document. 

Under the program, pending patent applications in "certain green technologies" will receive special status and expedited treatment, reducing time to patent by approximately one year. The program references 29 categories of renewable energy technologies and 23 categories of energy efficient technologies that are eligible for expedited status. Details of the pilot program are available at Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction, 74 Fed. Reg. 64666-69 (2009). Only the first 3,000 previously filed new applications related to these technologies will be examined on an accelerated basis. 

For more information on the Pilot Program for Green Technologies, please contact Brian C. Meadows, 678.420.9414 or meadowsb@ballardspahr.com.


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