Washington - Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos announced today that the deadline for filing petitions under the USPTO's Green Technology Pilot Program, which allows for expedited processing of patent applications related to green technology, is being extended until December 31, 2011. The program was originally set to expire on December 8 of this year.
Additionally, pending green technology related patent applications filed with the USPTO on or after December 8, 2009, will now be eligible for consideration under the program. Petitions seeking expedited processing of new green patent applications may also now be filed simultaneously with the patent application.
Since the pilot program began in December 2009, a total of 790 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants, and 94 patents have been issued.
"We've seen great results so far for those applications in the Green Technology Pilot Program, so we want to extend it for another year and open the program to additional green inventions," Kappos said. "By doing so, we hope to help stimulate investment in green technology, bring more green inventions to market, and create jobs."
Program statistics show that applicants who use the program can obtain a patent much more quickly as compared to the standard examination process. Currently, the average time between the approval of a green technology petition and the first action on an application is just 49 days. In several cases, patent applications in the green technology program have been issued within a year of the filing date. Earlier patenting of these technologies can help inventors to secure funding, create businesses, and bring vital green technologies to market much sooner.
Patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order they are filed. Under the extended pilot program, for the first 3,000 applications filed on or before December 31, 2011, in which a grantable petition for special status is filed, the agency will expedite examination. As before, to be included in the program, petitions for expedited processing of an application must state how the application relates to (1) the development of a renewable energy source or energy conservation or (2) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
More details on the extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program can be found in today's Federal Register at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-28394.pdf.
Additional information on the Green Technology Pilot Program can be found on the USPTO's website at www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/green_tech.jsp.