Tuesday, August 28, 2012

USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program

Way Better Patents Releases USPTO Green Technology Program Discovery and Analysis Report 

Way Better Patents has released its USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program Discovery and Analysis Report. The report is the first comprehensive look at the inventions and technologies patented under the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program to accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications.

The Report

Using Way Better Patents patentECO Index as the framework to look at the innovations covered by the program, the report analyzes the first 836 patents granted under the program, from its inception in early December 2009 through its close in mid-February 2012. The report, available online and in an upcoming ebook format, documents which companies received patents including the top assignees, the “Young Guns” — the young companies that disproportionately impact economic growth and job creation, and the participation of independent inventors. The report is organized around Way Better Patents' patentECO Indexes.

Way Better Patents' analysts also looked at vintage prior art in each of the major program domains - Wind, Solar, Energy Efficiency, Water, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Biofuels, and Industry. The report also provides deep dive patent analytics on the geography, complexity, pendency, and specific inventive technologies patented under the program.

This report is an important look at the impact of accelerated examination programs as the USPTO implements the America Invents Act Section 25, under which
the Director of the USPTO and at the request of the patent applicant, may provide for prioritization of examination of applications for products, processes, or technologies that are important to the national economy or national competitiveness without requiring the applicant to pay the aggregate extra cost of such prioritization.
This report provides science and technology policy makers, researchers, and economic development experts with a unique perspective on an accelerated examination program like that soon to be allowed under Section 25 of the American Invents Act.
The report presents important information about the program’s participants and notable patents granted under the program including:
  • How a patent for improving the driving experience for drivers of electric cars was considered an important aspect of green technology
  • Which major wind and solar market leader that was in on the program from day one received the most patents
  • How one inventor took methods used to cool semiconductors to dramatically improve the fuel utilization for heating commercial cooking pots
  • A plant sunscreen invention that improves the life of produce
  • How patents for internal combustion engines lead the way in patents granted in the “green” transportation inventions
  • How two different Young Guns patented inventions for urban wind power solutions.

Is Green Technology More Than a Buzzword?

The goal of the analysis was to discover what green technology was patented under the program and frame it in a way that is understandable and useful for inventors and researchers, talent scouts, for real estate and economic developers who want to see what’s coming next in the green tech marketplace. Product managers will find the results useful in looking for technology and investors and business developers looking to see the which companies have accelerated the protection of their intellectual property in the Clean Technology space.

Is There a Benefit To Accelerated Examination?

Public policy professionals will find the report a useful and important look at the impact of accelerated examination of a particular class of technology. The report shows how the USPTO vision of the technology morphed into the vision of the technology held by innovators and their decisions on which inventions they selected to move to the front of the patent examiner’s docket. This is an important piece of analysis for framing discussions around the new ability of the Director of the USPTO to grant accelerated examination to economically important technology under the America Invents Act.

Is Green Tech New? Review the Prior Art.

Many green technologies are not new — wind technology, solar energy, electric motors — the report includes a section on green technology prior art and the timelines of some of these important “vintage” inventions.

This report is the only published detailed analysis of the results of the USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program. The Program essentially defines the USPTO’s view of what constitutes clean technology. It is required reading for anyone with an interest in past, present, or future clean technology inventions in the US.