Going Even Greener at the USPTO

November 18, 2010

The USPTO Expands and Extends the Green Technology Pilot Program

On Wednesday November 11th, the USPTO announced (75 FR 69049-03) plans to extend and expand the Green Technology Pilot Program.  The purpose of the Pilot Program is to encourage green technology and it allows an applicant the opportunity to advance out of turn, if their application relates to green technologies and materially enhances the environment.  The original notice required an application be filed before December 8, 2009 and will only run for 12 months from the date of the notice (December 8, 2009).  But, the USPTO announced that it is expanding the eligibility of the program to include “unexamined non-reissue non-provisional utility applications filed on or after December 8, 2009.”  Additionally, the USPTO will extend the program through December, 31, 2011.

Director of the USPTO David Kappos issued a press release on October 21st stating that “there has been a tremendous amount of interest in the Green Technology Pilot Program, and we would like to enable applicants whose inventions did not fall within the initial classifications eligible for the program to be eligible.”  The USPTO has gathered statistics on the number of green petitions granted, dismissed, denied, and pending.

To find patents on Westlaw which have applied under the program, try the following search in US-PAT-HISTORY:

(material! /5 enhanc! /5 environment!) (pto +3 sb +4 420) (green +3 pilot-program technology) green-patent & (special /5 application status) (make +3 special) (98 Docs)

The official form to make an application special under this program is available on also available on Westlaw.  Follow this link of the USPTO to find any frequently asked questions, contacts, press releases, etc.

According to Gene Quinn of IPWatchdog, “the average time between the approval of a green technology petition and the first action on an application is just 49 days.”

Other commentary on the USPTO’s move to going even greener are here:

Michael Langer

Green Patent Blog

271 Patent Blog