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Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that the deadline for filing petitions under the Green Technology Pilot Program, originally set to expire on December 31 of this year, is being extended through March 30, 2012 or until 3,500 applications have been accorded special status under the program. Additionally, USPTO also announced today that the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan (Project Exchange) will not be extended through its current expiration date of December 31, 2011.
"In view of the success of the Green Technology Pilot Program the program will be extended until we receive 3,500 applications or reach the final program sunset date," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "While both the Green Technology and Project Exchange programs will soon draw to a close, in the future all applicants may use the newly enacted Prioritized Examination (Track One) program, which is currently available to all technologies and categories of invention, to have their application accorded special status."
Program statistics show that stakeholders participating in the Green Technology Pilot Program have obtained patents much more quickly as compared to the standard examination process. Currently, the average time between granting of a green technology petition and first office action on the merits is just 78 days. In many instances, applicants have had their Green Technology inventions patented in less than one year from the application filing date. More than 2,900 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants since the pilot began in December 2009.
Prioritized Examination Track (Track One), which is part of the USPTO's Three-Track Program, provides applicants with greater control over when their applications are examined and promotes greater efficiency in the patent examination process. Track One allows applicants, for a fee, to have their patent applications processed to final disposition within 12 months from prioritized status being granted.
More details on the extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program can be found in today's Federal Register at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-15/pdf/2011-32115.pdf.
For more information on Track One, Green Technology Pilot Program or Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, please contact the Office of Patent Legal Administration at 571-272-7701 or e-mail PatentPractice@uspto.gov.
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