US Patent Office to Speed Awarding of Green Patents

Dec 9 2009 | 10:19am ET

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications, Secretary Gary Locke announced on Monday.

As part of a pilot program to speed current processes, the USPTO will accord the first 3,000 greentech patent applications received special status and expedite their examination. The department says this could trim as much as a year off the time it usually takes to patent a technology.

Patent applications are usually considered on a first come, first served basis, and the process of approving a greentech patent takes, on average, 30 months in a first office and 40 months to a final decision.

If the pilot is successful, the USPTO says it will examine ways to continue and expand the initiative.

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