The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has had a program in place for accelerating the review of patent applications for clean, green inventions, or “inventions that improve the environment and reduce harmful greenhouse-gas emissions,” for about a year now. The agency recently extended the deadline of this program to go to December 31, 2011. The agency wants to get a total of 3,000 green innovation patent applications by that time. But it’s got a long way to go. The program started about a year ago 790 patent applications have been granted fast review. 79 of those patents have been approved.
However, the program director, David Kappos, is happy with the progress so far. “We’ve seen great results so far for those applications in the Green Tech program,” Kappos said. “By doing so, we hope to help bring more green inventions to market, stimulate investment in green technology and create jobs.”
How much does this program help green innovators? Well, normally, an applicant would wait about 2 years for a patent to be approved. Under this program, green technology innovators only have to wait about 49 days.
This program idea came from the Obama administration. As we’ve covered many times, the Obama administration is focused on increasing our clean energy competitiveness, since clean energy is expected to be the economic driver of the future. This is one clear way to do so. As Susan Decker of Bloomberg reports: “The Obama administration is pushing for more innovation related to renewable energy or lowering emissions, saying the U.S. needs to promote investment in green technologies to compete with nations including China and India.”
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