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USPTO Introduces Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program

USPTO Introduces Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program

USPTO Introduces Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program

Throughout history, innovation and human intellect have been the main factors for solving humankind’s problems. Today, climate change has become a major threat and can no longer be ignored. On June 3, 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) introduced the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program, its newest initiative to advance particular technical fields of interest. The program is committed to granting expedited review of patent applications that relate to clean and green energy technologies to combat the climate change crisis.

For a limited period of time, the USPTO will accept up to 1,000 qualifying patent applications for the program. Similar to existing accelerated examination programs, the program will fast-track the examination of certain patent applications. This time, however, it is for innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under this expedited review, a patent application that would normally take two and a half years to prosecute can be prosecuted to final disposition (e.g., allowance) within twelve months.

As outlined in the relevant Federal Register notice, here are key requirements to participate:

  • Applications must contain one or more patent claims directed to a product or process that mitigates climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Applications must be non-continuing original utility nonprovisional applications.
  • Applicants must file the petition to make special (Form PTO/SB/457) 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).
  • Applicants may not file a petition to participate in this program if the inventor or any joint inventor has been named as the inventor or a joint inventor on more than four (4) other nonprovisional applications in which a petition to make special under this Program has been filed.
  • Applications that are accompanied by nonpublication requests will be ineligible under this program.

With respect to the prosecution of patent applications that are filed under this program, the Federal Register notice states:

  • Applications involving technologies that mitigate climate change will be advanced out of turn (granted special status) until the first action on the merits by a patent examiner, if the applications meet all of the program requirements.
  • Applications are limited to three (3) independent claims; twenty (20) total claims; and no multiple dependent claims. Any amendments which would cause the application to exceed the claims limitations will be disqualified from participating in the program.
  • If a reply to a non-final office action is not fully responsive because it does not comply with the above-described claim requirements but is a bona fide attempt to advance the application to final action, the patent examiner may provide a shortened two (2) month response deadline.

This program is expected to accelerate hundreds of patent applications for technologies that address climate change. By facilitating the accelerated prosecution of these patentable innovations, the USPTO aims to boost efforts to promote technologies that will help address climate change issues. Patent applicants and inventors are well advised to work with their trusted patent counsel to determine whether pending filings or new inventions could appropriately be filed under this new program. Feel free to reach out to the Patent Prosecution and Counseling team at Procopio for more information.


Miku H. Mehta

Partner

Miku advises clients in the U.S. and Asia on intellectual property, patent prosecution and counseling, as well as trademarks and copyrights. His practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, due diligence projects, including preparation of opinions in the areas of patentability, validity, infringement and product clearance, and patent licensing. Miku has extensive experience in technology including computer software and hardware, networks, internet-related applications, environmental technologies, optics, mechanical engineering, business processes and medical devices, as well as registration and renewal of trademarks and counseling on export control matters. He is the leader of Procopio’s Intellectual Property team.

Miku advises clients in the U.S. and Asia on intellectual property, patent prosecution and counseling, as well as trademarks and copyrights. His practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, due diligence projects, including preparation of opinions in the areas of patentability, validity, infringement and product clearance, and patent licensing. Miku has extensive experience in technology including computer software and hardware, networks, internet-related applications, environmental technologies, optics, mechanical engineering, business processes and medical devices, as well as registration and renewal of trademarks and counseling on export control matters. He is the leader of Procopio’s Intellectual Property team.

Jeffrey D. Morton, PhD

Partner

Jeff provides strategic intellectual property advice, including patent prosecution, and related transactional support for emerging and mature companies in a wide variety of industries, with a particular focus on life sciences and medical technologies. A PhD immunologist, he has extensive patent experience in technologies including genomics, immunology, and gene editing technologies, and advises on complex freedom-to-operate life sciences issues. Jeff also maintains an active trademark practice and provides cross-border legal advice with Canadian clients, being admitted in both the U.S. and Canada. He leads Procopio’s Life Sciences practice and co-leads its Licensing and Technology Transactions practice.

Jeff has been recognized by the World Intellectual Property Review as a U.S. Patent Leader and Trademark Leader and as an IAM Strategy 300 world-leading IP strategist.

Jeff provides strategic intellectual property advice, including patent prosecution, and related transactional support for emerging and mature companies in a wide variety of industries, with a particular focus on life sciences and medical technologies. A PhD immunologist, he has extensive patent experience in technologies including genomics, immunology, and gene editing technologies, and advises on complex freedom-to-operate life sciences issues. Jeff also maintains an active trademark practice and provides cross-border legal advice with Canadian clients, being admitted in both the U.S. and Canada. He leads Procopio’s Life Sciences practice and co-leads its Licensing and Technology Transactions practice.

Jeff has been recognized by the World Intellectual Property Review as a U.S. Patent Leader and Trademark Leader and as an IAM Strategy 300 world-leading IP strategist.

Erica Spence, PharmD

Associate

Erica serves clients in the life sciences industry providing various intellectual property services. She brings industry and academic experience as a licensed pharmacist in California, having worked for many years worked in the retail pharmacy field. She is also a registered patent agent. Erica joined Procopio in 2021 as a summer associate and later became a law clerk assisting the firm’s patent prosecution attorneys in drafting patent claims and responding to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office non-final actions.

Erica serves clients in the life sciences industry providing various intellectual property services. She brings industry and academic experience as a licensed pharmacist in California, having worked for many years worked in the retail pharmacy field. She is also a registered patent agent. Erica joined Procopio in 2021 as a summer associate and later became a law clerk assisting the firm’s patent prosecution attorneys in drafting patent claims and responding to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office non-final actions.

Alejandro D. Echeverria

Patent Agent

Alejandro focuses on mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, and renewable energy inventions. As a registered Patent Agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alejandro has been involved in various aspects of intellectual property law since 2021. Prior to joining Procopio, Alejandro worked as an engineer for companies such as Caterpillar, Collins Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney.

Alejandro’s fluency in Spanish gives him a valuable advantage in assisting Hispanic inventors in patent prosecution matters. Additionally, his cultural awareness allows him to better understand the inventors’ unique perspectives and backgrounds, helping him provide personalized guidance that is tailored to their needs. Overall, Alejandro’s linguistic and cultural skills make him an ideal candidate for working with Hispanic inventors and helping them navigate the complex world of patent prosecution.

Alejandro focuses on mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, and renewable energy inventions. As a registered Patent Agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alejandro has been involved in various aspects of intellectual property law since 2021. Prior to joining Procopio, Alejandro worked as an engineer for companies such as Caterpillar, Collins Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney.

Alejandro’s fluency in Spanish gives him a valuable advantage in assisting Hispanic inventors in patent prosecution matters. Additionally, his cultural awareness allows him to better understand the inventors’ unique perspectives and backgrounds, helping him provide personalized guidance that is tailored to their needs. Overall, Alejandro’s linguistic and cultural skills make him an ideal candidate for working with Hispanic inventors and helping them navigate the complex world of patent prosecution.

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