There is a growing awareness in the world of the need to preserve nature, climate, and the environment. At the same time, there’s the awareness that the solution to these problems is partly provided by technology. In particular, the green one. At the same time, the demand for ethical and environmental products in all areas – from retail to wind energy – fuels the competitive innovation market. Today, small startups, Fortune-500 listed corporations, and governments are working on them.
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For example, the EU is currently in the process of creating an ambitious “digital double” of the Earth, which would mimic the atmosphere, oceans, ice, and land to create long-term forecasts of climate change. The largest companies, such as Unilever, Diageo, Nestle, Carlsberg, and others, unite in projects to develop and produce paper-based packaging. By the way, the already patented Pulpex cellulose solution looks very promising for abandoning plastic bottles and radically reducing waste. Meanwhile, fashion industry representatives invest in textile processing technologies and technology giants in smart cities without CO2 and renewable energy generation.
Special mechanisms have been launched in most countries to ensure the required level of economic growth without creating additional environmental risks. And a long time ago. Their intellectual property offices use an accelerated procedure to examine the development and patenting and thus help to ensure that these technologies appear on the market as soon as possible. This means that eco-innovation can benefit the environment and people much faster.
In the United States in 2009 launched a program of an accelerated review of patent applications for environmentally friendly technologies. From the outset, the Green Technology Pilot Program has been aimed at accepting patent applications relating to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy sources, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions and considering them as a matter of priority. Today, innovators can use the Track One procedure, which accelerates the examination and adopts a final decision on the application within 12 months from the date of its submission. And innovators who improve the quality of the environment do not have to pay for such acceleration.
Other countries that use the accelerated procedure of examining green technologies – Japan, Britain, Israel, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and, of course, China, which are among the world leaders in the number of patents for innovation.
In the UK, you can speed up the time to obtain a green patent to 10 months, while the standard for other inventions – 3-4 years. In Brazil, applications are considered for ten years, and the procedure can be reduced to 2-3 years.
Typically, inventors seek protection for their inventions ie, countries they plan to invest, export, or otherwise sell their products. They often do so in several jurisdictions (geographic markets). If you are one of the authors, developers of green innovations and prefer to change the world, here are some practical tips on how to patent your technology:
- Identify your priority countries. The patent is territorial in nature, so if your green technology is understood and in demand in the United States, apply to the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO). If it is potentially in demand in China or Brazil, apply to their agencies. By the way, these two countries are actively implementing developments and organizing various government support programs.
- Analyze the legislation of selected countries and the criteria for a “green patent” in them. For example, in the UK, the state program The Green Channel allows you to speed up the application if the invention has a so-called environmental benefit (environmental benefit). Acceleration of such applications is not automatic but on request. In this statement, you also need to disclose how exactly your proposed solution is eco-friendly. Canada also has a procedure to expedite applications related to green technologies. Under national law, these are inventions that address or mitigate environmental impacts and those that help preserve the environment and natural resources.
- Make the most of the benefits provided by law and government programs. For example, in the United States, the acceleration of applications for inventions aimed at saving nature is free. A similar situation is in the UK, Canada.
- Remember not only the benefits but also your obligations. For example, China’s program for green technology provides that you must respond promptly to expert inquiries. If you do not respond within two months, the application status will be changed from priority to standard. The situation is similar in Canada – the response to the request must be provided within three months.
- Prepare patent documents so that when you read them, there is no doubt about the eco-orientation of your technology. Not all countries examine the invention on this criterion, but if the discrepancy is apparent – you can be denied participation in the program. For example, such a policy is practiced by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
- When applying, do not forget to ask for an expedited examination. After all, the very fact of applying for green technology, as a rule, does not mean that the examination of it will automatically accelerate. You must apply for such an acceleration together with or after the patent application.
- Remember that an application for green technology is the same patent application, the invention of which must meet three main criteria: world novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. So, before applying for a patent, analyze your chances of obtaining it. Think about what technologies you are competing with and how you differ from them.
Read more here about the inventions that the world did not immediately appreciate.