Intellectual Property Law

USPTO announces launch of Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program

The USPTO published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal announced the pilot program during her remarks at the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy summit in Colorado.

Under this pilot program, qualifying nonprovisional utility patent applications involving technologies that mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be advanced out of turn for examination (accorded special status) until a first action on the merits. Applicants are not required to satisfy the current requirements of the accelerated examination program or the prioritized examination program.

“This is part of our ongoing efforts to incentivize innovation—including in key technology areas like climate change,” said Vidal.

This pilot program is a component of the USPTO’s commitment to explore accelerated review of patent applications that pertain to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, greenhouse gas emission reduction, or other climate related topics. By facilitating reduction in greenhouse gases, the pilot aims to complement efforts to enhance climate resilience and adaptation.

The USPTO began accepting petitions to participate in the pilot program on June 3, 2022. The pilot program will be available until June 5, 2023, or until the USPTO accepts 1,000 grantable petitions, whichever is earlier. 

Additional information on the conditions, eligibility requirements, and guidelines of this pilot program is available in the Federal Register Notice and on the USPTO’s Patents Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program webpage.

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