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PTO Pilot Program To Speed Up Some Green-Tech Patent Applications

December 09, 2009

December 9, 2009 (Mountain View, CA) - Stuart Meyer, partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Fenwick & West LLP, was recently quoted in the National Law Journal article, "PTO Pilot Program To Speed Up Some Green-Tech Patent Applications."

On December 7th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) announced a "Green Technology Pilot Program." The program is open to patent applications relating to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and will enable the first 3,000 eligible patent applicants who file a petition to obtain an accelerated review of their filings. The PTO estimates that the average time for a first PTO office action on green technology patent applications is 30 months, and the average final action takes 40 months.

Over the past year the PTO has rolled out several initiatives, in addition to the green technology pilot, in an effort to trim the backlog, which totaled 735,961 applications as of Sept. 30.

Patent lawyers say clients with clean technology patent applications are enthusiastic about the process to speed up the application process. Stuart Meyer expects that the PTO will reach the 3,000 application limit fairly quickly. "It's a step in the right direction," Meyer said. "I don't know to what extent the patent office's current resources will let them expand it."