U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Extends Program Giving Accelerated Examination to "Green" Patent Applications

On December 15, 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will extend the program giving accelerated examination to "Green" patent applications, i.e., those that relate to environmental quality, energy conservation, renewable energy sources and reducing green house gases. In 2011, the Patent Office agreed to give priority examination to up to 3,000 applications relating to these subjects. It is likely that a similar limit to the number of applications will apply in 2012.