The Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program, a replacement of the Green Technology Pilot Program, is designed to positively impact the climate by accelerating the examination of patent applications for innovations that mitigate climate change. In June 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched the program for innovations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This program is inspired by the Green Technology Pilot Program that ended in March 2012.
Beginning on June 6, 2023, the USPTO will expand the eligibility requirements to include more technologies which will help make progress toward the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Under the expanded program, qualifying applications involving technologies that reduce, remove, prevent, and/or monitor greenhouse gas emissions, as specified below, will be advanced out of turn (made special) to expedite a first Office action. An Office action is a patent examiner’s written notice of findings for the patent application.
An applicant must file a timely petition to make special using the required petition form in order to qualify for this program. For qualifying applications, no petition fee for the petition to make special is required and the applicant is not required to satisfy the other requirements of the accelerated examination program. The USPTO will accept petitions to make special under this program until June 7, 2027, or the date when a total of 4,000 applications have been granted special status under this program, whichever occurs earlier. This program aligns with and supports Executive Order 14008, dated January 27, 2021, and supports the USPTO’s efforts to secure an equitable economic future, promote progress toward achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate the effects of climate change. The requirements of the program, as expanded, are summarized below.
- Applications must contain one or more claims to a product or process that mitigates climate change by being designed to: (a) remove greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere; (b) reduce and/or prevent additional greenhouse gas emissions; and/or (c) monitor, track, and/or verify greenhouse gas emission reductions.
- This program is open to:
- Non-continuing original utility nonprovisional applications; and
- Original utility nonprovisional applications that claim the benefit of the filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) of only one prior application that is either a nonprovisional application or an international application designating the United States.
Note: Claiming the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of one or more prior provisional applications or claiming a right of foreign priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) or (f) to one or more foreign applications will not affect eligibility for this pilot program.
- The application or national stage entry must be electronically filed using Patent Center, and the specification, claims, and abstract must be submitted in DOCX format. To learn more about filing in DOCX format, please consider attending a DOCX training webinar or visiting the DOCX information page.
- Applicants must file the petition to make special with the application or entry into the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 or within 30 days of the filing date or entry date of the application. The fee for the petition to make special under 37 CFR 1.102(d) has been waived for this program.
- Applicants must use Form PTO/SB/457—which contains the petition and requisite certifications—to request participation in this program. Form PTO/SB/457 must be filed electronically using Patent Center.
- Petition filing limitations: Applicants may not file a petition to participate in this pilot program if the inventor or any joint inventor has been named as the inventor or a joint inventor on more than twelve other nonprovisional applications in which a petition to make special under this program has been filed.
- All other requirements and conditions of this program are provided in the 2022 and 2023 Federal Register notices for this program.
How to file:
- Complete and sign Form PTO/SB/457.
- Save Form PTO/SB/457 and upload via Patent Center.
- When uploading Form PTO/SB/457, select the document description Petition for Climate Change Mitigation Pilot (found under the Petition Category) on the Patent Center screen to ensure timely and appropriate processing.
- 2023 Federal Register notice 88 FR 35841 (June 1, 2023)
- Federal Register notice 87 FR 33750 (June 3, 2022)
- Applications granted special status for this pilot as of November 28, 2023: 649 filed / 485 granted
For questions about Patent Center, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197 or via email to email@example.com.
For questions about the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program Federal Register notice, please contact the Office of Patent Legal Administration at 571-272-7704 or via email to PatentsClimateChangePilot@uspto.gov.
For questions about the status of a particular petition, please contact the Office of Petitions at 571-272-3282.
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