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Rewarding use of patents for humanitarian needs

10th February, 2012

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot programme aimed at rewarding patent owners for using their patented technology to address humanitarian needs. The press release issued on 8th February, 2012 notes that the pilot project will run for 12 months and it will provide organizations a certificate for processing patents faster.  

The pilot project is aimed at those technologies which significantly address public health or quality of life issues faced by an impoverished population.  A panel of judges will evaluate applications in four categories - Medical, Food and Nutrition, Clean Technology, and Information Technology.  The communiqué mentions the eligible technologies that will work to confront global challenges include life-saving medical diagnostic equipment, water sterilization devices, mosquito control and land mine detection.  

The acceleration certificate will enable queue jumping in respect of patent examination including re-examination and appeals. According to USPTO certificate-holders can get final decision on their application in 12 months. Certificate holders can also redeem their certificate to accelerate any one matter in their portfolio not related to the subject of the humanitarian program application.
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