USPTO's Patents for Humanity Wins 2012 LESI Award

Pilot program encourages patent holders to address global humanitarian challenges
January 23, 2013
Press Release 13-05

Contact: (Media Only) Patrick Ross
or Paul Fucito (571) 272-8400 or or


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was honored yesterday for its Patents for Humanity initiative, a pilot program designed to encourage the use of patented technology to address humanitarian challenges. The non-profit Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) presented the National IP and Technology Transfer Policy Award to the USPTO at a ceremony in Geneva Switzerland at LESI's annual Global Technology Impact Forum (GTIF). Conference speakers included representatives of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO), Gates Foundation, and many other technology organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"We are honored to be recognized for our Patents for Humanity initiative, which recognizes those who use patented technology to aid the less fortunate," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability of technology to transform lives is real and powerful. This program plays a key role in advancing President Obama's global development agenda."

USPTO Director Kappos launched Patents for Humanity in February 2012 as part of a series of Obama administration initiatives to promote game-changing innovations to solve long-standing development challenges. The program is an awards competition recognizing patent owners and licensees who address humanitarian needs around the globe. Entrants compete in four categories: medical technology, food and nutrition, clean technology, and information technology. Winners receive accelerated processing of select matters at the USPTO. Applications to the pilot were accepted through Oct. 31, 2012, with winners to be announced at an awards ceremony later in 2013.

Applicant submissions can be viewed online at Those interested can learn more about the program on the USPTO website at

For non-press inquiries about Patents for Humanity, contact Edward Elliott at 571-272-7024 or

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