Two-Month Warning for the USPTO Green Patent Fast Track


Only two months remain for applicants who want to take advantage of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Green Technology Pilot Program.  The program – a fast track procedure for green patent applications – is scheduled to close its doors on December 8, 2010.

The program launched on December 8, 2009 and lasts just one year.  Although it was limited to only the first 3,000 petitions filed, the program has been undersubscribed and is highly unlikely to max out.  As of late September, only 735 of the 3,000 slots had been filled.

Applicants that wish to participate in the program need to file a petition with the USPTO requesting participation and indicating that their patent application complies with the program requirements. 

The basic eligibility requirements are as follows:

the application is a non-reissue, non-provisional utility application filed before December 8, 2009 for which a first office action has not been issued;

the application has three or fewer independent claims, 20 or fewer total claims and no multiple dependent claims (the applicant can file a preliminary amendment to bring the application in compliance with this requirement);

the application claims a single invention directed to environmental quality, conserving energy, developing renewable energy resources or reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and

the applicant must request early publication of the application.

Like football’s two-minute warning, this post signals that time is running out to move your green patent application down the field. 

But if you miss out on the U.S. fast track, there are still many expeditious green patenting opportunities around the world:  the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office , IP Australia, the Israeli Intellectual Property Office, the Canada Intellectual Property Office and the Spanish Intellectual Property Office all have or plan to launch procedures to expedite green patenting. 

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.