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UK's Green Patent Initiative Boosting Industry Innovation

by Robin Pilgrim,, London

30 December 2010

The UK government is providing real benefits to green businesses through its initiative to fast-track patent applications on green inventions, according to UK Intellectual Property Minister, Judith Wilcox.

As part of the initiative, the Intellectual Property Office’s Green Channel service offers accelerated processing for patent applications where the invention has an environmental benefit.

Wilcox said on December 28 that since the Green Channel service was launched in May last year, 329 patent applications have been, or are being, fast-tracked. On average, a patent is granted through the Green Channel in eight months compared with a 32-month average for standard applications.

British businesses have been the main beneficiaries with 86% of requests for fast-tracking coming from UK firms.

Wilcox stated:

“The demand for low carbon products is growing across the world. Putting the UK at the forefront of the green technology industry will deliver enormous benefits to this country.”

“It will provide the UK with economic growth and new jobs as well as improving our environment.”

“Fast-tracking green patents provides businesses with practical help in developing green technology and bringing it to the consumer as quickly as possible.”

One third of the applications received so far relate to energy saving. Green Channel applications have also been made for technologies ranging from harnessing natural sources of power, such as wind wave and solar energy, to recycling and transport.

Requests for fast-tracking can be refused if the invention does not have an environmental benefit but so far only 2% of requests have been turned down.

The Green Channel service has attracted interest from other countries with the US, Australia and South Korea all introducing similar schemes.

TAGS: environment | small business | business | trademarks | patents | law | intellectual property | copyright | patent highway | Australia | small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) | legislation | regulation | trade

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