The USPTO recently announced a new pilot program directed at accelerating examination procedure for applications claiming cleantech technology. Under the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program, qualifying nonprovisional utility patent applications involving technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be advanced out of turn for examination, or accorded special status, until a first action on the merits. Typically, applicants wait up to a year and a half after initial filing of a patent application for a first office action on the merits. It looks like applicants do not have to wait that long under the new pilot program. In the USPTO’s press release, the agency states that this pilot program is part of their 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.

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