If you’re at all familiar with the process of filing for and receiving a patent, you have an idea of how incredibly long it can take. The length of the process often prevents new technologies from surfacing quickly, as it takes an average of 40 months before a patent is issued. How many of these new ideas could seriously improve people’s lives? Our society? With pressing fields such as health and medicine and energy, it seems counterproductive to wait so long.
But under the Obama administration, the USPTO has decided to test out a new pilot program. The program would speed up the process of obtaining a patent on green energy innovations. The need for green technology and innovative solutions to infrastructure crises, low emission targets, and high-energy demands is immediate. Shaving off even twelve months from the process, as the program seeks to do to, would be a huge improvement. A lengthy patent process shouldn’t be the reason why solutions aren’t being put into place! It’s not only an incentive to help the environment, but also to stimulate the economy. Innovations that require patent protection before hitting the market or being put to use will start generating money and jobs sooner.
I think it’s a step in the right direction. I hope that the pilot program is successful and encourages inventors who are wary of the lengthy patent process. If it is indeed successful, other important fields may be fast tracked as well.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.