Friday, August 27, 2010

Fast tracking of green patent apps not working well?

In a piece titled Green-tech patent program off target pace , Martin LaMonica begins:

A trial program meant to speed the pace of innovation in green technology hasn't unleashed the torrent of activity as hoped.
Launched in December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Green Technology Pilot Program puts patent petitions related to environmental technologies at the front of the line for appraisal. The goal is to encourage economic activity in the sector

As of Thursday [26 August 2010], however, a USPTO representative said there have been 1,477 requests for accelerated status, well short of the pace first expected.

IPBiz notes that back in the beginning, one had:

However, petitions to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program must be filed before December 8, 2010 and the USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions, provided that the petitions meet several requirements, including:

The non-fee petition must be in a nonprovisional, non-reissue application that was filed on or before the date of the notice (December 8, 2009), and at least one day before a first office action is mailed (which may be a restriction requirement) or appears in thePatent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Continuing applications will not automatically be accorded special status based on papers filed with a petition in a parent application. Each continuing application must on its own meet all requirements for special status.
The petition to make special must be accompanied by a request for early publication in compliance with 37 CFR 1.219 and the publication fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.18(d).
The application must be classified in one of the may classes identified Section V of the Federal Register notice copied below.
The application must have no more than 3 independent claims and 20 total claims, or a preliminary amendment must be filed to reduce the number of claims at or below these thresholds. Applicants may file a preliminary amendment to cancel the excess claims and/or the multiple dependent claims at the time the petition to make special is filed.
The claims must be directed to a single invention and include a statement that if the USPTO determines that the claims are directed to multiple inventions, the applicant will agree to make an election without traverse in a telephonic interview, and elect an invention that meets the eligibility requirements
The claimed invention must materially enhance the quality of the environment or materially contribute to: (1) the discovery or development of renewable energy resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources; or (3) greenhouse gas emission reduction, and explain how this standard is met

And a post on 21 May 2010 noted:

In yet another attempt to expedite important patent applications through the examination process the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced earlier today that it is revising its Green Technology Pilot Program. The revision in the program will allow more categories of technology to be eligible for expedited processing under the USPTO green initiative, which allows for the expediting of patent applications through the examination process. Eligibility for the pilot program, which was designed to promote the development of green technologies, had previously been limited to applications within a select number of classifications, with only about one-third of applications for special status being granted.


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