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"Turning the tide on climate change by Robert Kandel" by Philippe 2009 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Patent Office Announces Climate Change Mitigation Pilot

Announces pilot program
To fight climate change

Earlier this year, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced its Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program.

This program aligns with and supports President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, which notes:

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.  We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents.  Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action.  Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment.

The program also supports the USPTO’s efforts to “secure an equitable economic future, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

As the USPTO explains,

The Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program is designed to positively impact the climate by accelerating the examination of patent applications for innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under this program, qualifying applications involving greenhouse gas reduction technologies are advanced out of turn for examination (granted special status) until a first action on the merits—typically the first substantive examination—is complete. For qualifying applications, the applicant does not incur the petition to make a special fee and is not required to satisfy the other requirements of the accelerated examination program. 

The USPTO will accept petitions for special status under this program until June 5, 2023, or until 1,000 applications have been granted special status, whichever happens first.

The program has the following requirements:

  • Applications must contain one or more claims to a product or process that mitigates climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

This program is open to: 

  • Non-continuing original utility nonprovisional applications; and  

    • Original utility nonprovisional applications that claim the benefit of the filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) of only one prior application that is either a nonprovisional application or an international application designating the United States. 

  • The application or national stage entry must be electronically filed using Patent Center, and the specification, claims, and abstract must be submitted in DOCX format. To learn more about filing in DOCX format, please consider attending a  DOCX training webinar or visiting the DOCX information page.

  • Applicants must file the petition to make special with the application or entry into the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 or within 30 days of the filing date or entry date of the application. The fee for the petition to make special under 37 CFR 1.102(d) has been waived for this program.

  • Applicants must use Form PTO/SB/457—which contains the petition and requisite certifications—to request participation in this program. Form PTO/SB/457 must be filed electronically using Patent Center.

  • Petition filing limitations: Applicants may not file a petition to participate in this pilot program if the inventor or any joint inventor has been named as the inventor or a joint inventor on more than four other nonprovisional applications in which a petition to make special under this program has been filed.

  • All other requirements and conditions of this program are provided in the 2022 Federal Register notice for this program.

As IAM has reported:

Toyota continues to dominate US patent filings for green technologies, while other companies with strong portfolios include General Electric, Panasonic, Hyundai, and LG, according to a recent patent analysis.

IAM also noted that

Among others, the green technology patenting areas that landed the companies on the 2022 ranking include:

  • The auto OEMs focused on green transportation technology related to electronic control of traditional engines, electric and hybrid vehicles, and automotive batteries.

  • Samsung and its subsidiary Samsung SDI were patenting in the areas of Lithium-ion batteries, automotive batteries, battery improvement and manufacturing technology, energy storage systems, electronic materials technologies and efficiency in user displays, solid-state devices, and semiconductors.

  • Raytheon, which merged with United Technologies Corp in 2020, owns green tech IP in the areas of aircraft engine efficiency, enhanced materials science, gas turbine and jet propulsion technology, and more.

Just like the haiku above, we like to keep our posts short and sweet. Hopefully, you found this bite-sized information helpful. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

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