Building on its do-gooding efforts, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has unveiled proposals to spur technologies that help humanity.
Under a proposed pilot program, patent holders who make their technology available for humanitarian purposes would be eligible for a voucher entitling them to an accelerated re-examination of a patent.
So, those who help others get to help themselves to fast-tracked patent processing.
The USPTO previously has unveiled a similar program for patent applicants with eco-friendly innovations.
It’s this type of incentivizing, forward-thinking approach to patent examination that earns USPTO Director David Kappos high marks in our book. We’re also in support of his initiatives to help independent inventors, including fast-tracking patent applications provided an applicant abandons a lesser app, and setting up a new category for so-called micro applicants.
The USPTO is seeking public comment on its humanitarian proposal.
Among the technologies eligible for the fast-track program are treatments for tropical diseases, diagnostic medical tools, crops with higher yields or better nutritional value, and treatments for sanitation or clean water.
Participants could qualify for the proposed pilot in two ways: by making their patented technologies available to impoverished populations for humanitarian use, or by making their patented technologies available to researchers who are developing technologies that address humanitarian needs.
Further information about the proposed fast-track ex parte re-examination voucher pilot program can be found in the Federal Register notice at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-23395.pdf