In a move welcomed by companies and entrepreneurs active in “green” technologies, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office announced on December 8th the creation of a one year pilot program designed to speed the examination of patent applications covering green technology inventions. Under the pilot program, the first 3000 patent applications in which a proper petition to accelerate examination is filed will be taken up for examination out of turn; accelerated examination is expected to reduce the time to obtain a patent by up to a year. Qualifying technologies include inventions relating to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, and greenhouse gas emission reduction. The PTO may extend the pilot program with or without modification beyond December 8, 2010, based on feedback from participants and the effectiveness of the program.
Further information can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2009/09_33.jsp and http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/notices/74fr64666.pdf.
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