USPTO Green Tech Pilot Program Begins Final Descent

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In a good news / bad news press release, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced last week that its Green Technology Pilot Program would be extended for three months but “will soon draw to a close.”

Previously set to expire on December 31, 2011, the program is being extended through March 30, 2012 or until 3,500 applications are accepted onto the fast track (read more in this post at Sustainable Marks).

As of December 5, 2011, the most recent report summary date, 2,913 petitions for the program have been granted, and 373 are awaiting decision.

To be eligible for the fast track program, the application must satisfy the following criteria:

the application is any non-reissue, non-provisional utility application 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.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at elane@luce.com.

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Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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