The USPTO is introducing a new pilot program which will accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications. Under normal circumstances, patent applications are examined in the order that they are filed. Currently, the average pendency time for applications in green technology areas is approximately 30 months to a first office action and 40 months to a final decision. Under the new pilot program, for the first 3,000 applications related to green technologies in which a proper petition is filed, the agency will examine the applications on an accelerated basis.
Pending patent applications in green technologies will be eligible to be accorded special status and given expedited examination, which will have the effect of reducing the time it takes to patent these technologies by an average of one year. The policy behind the program is that earlier patenting of these technologies enables inventors to secure funding, create businesses, and bring vital green technologies into use much sooner.
Additional details on the USPTO pilot program will be available in the Federal Register: USPTO Notice