USPTO announces new Trademarks for Humanity awards competition

Press Release

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced its new Trademarks for Humanity awards program to recognize brand owners who are harnessing the power of trademarks to help solve humanitarian challenges. While future iterations will cover different challenges, the inaugural award cycle will focus on the environment, recognizing brand owners who improve the environment through their products and services.

“Climate change poses a tremendous threat, and it will take creativity and energy from both the public and private sector to overcome that threat,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “At the Department of Commerce, we’re encouraging businesses to develop products and services that protect our communities and our country from the impacts of climate change. The new Trademarks for Humanity awards competition will shine a light on the brand owners who are responding to this generational challenge by making meaningful contributions toward a cleaner and healthier environment.”

“Every day, people across our great country and the world are working to counter the impacts of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, climate change, and many other environmental challenges,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal. “I encourage brand owners—of all types, organizational structures, business sectors, geographic areas, and demographic backgrounds—to apply for this award and bring recognition and inspiration to those who are using their trademarks to help make the world a safer and cleaner place.”

The Trademarks for Humanity award joins other recent USPTO initiatives—such as the Patents for Humanity Program’s green energy award category; a joint work-sharing program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; expedited examination procedures under the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program; and a partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s WIPO GREEN program—that are designed to address environmental challenges.

Applications for the Trademarks for Humanity award will be accepted from those owning an active U.S. trademark registration and using it in connection with products, services, or business practices that improve the environment. All types of registered marks are eligible, including trademarks, service marks, certification marks, collective marks, or collective membership marks. Winners will receive recognition at a public awards ceremony with the Director of the USPTO and will be featured on the USPTO’s website.

The USPTO is accepting applications for the Trademarks for Humanity award from April 11 through July 14, 2023, or until 200 applications are received, whichever occurs first. For more information about how to apply, visit the Trademarks for Humanity page on the USPTO website.

The Trademarks for Humanity awards program builds off of USPTO’s popular Patents for Humanity awards program, launched in 2012, which has recognized pioneering inventors who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges.

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