British Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox has been touring the facilities of several leading environmental innovators this week and encouraging members of the business community to take advantage of the so-called "green channel," a set of provisions that speed the patent application and review process for firms with eco-friendly new ideas.
Gordon Murray Design, one of the companies highlighted in the minister's tour, has incorporated recycled plastic bottles into its auto manufacturing operations to produce cars that are less expensive to construct and leave behind a smaller environmental footprint.
"It's tremendous to see how an idea has been turned into an actual business product swiftly and efficiently," Wilcox noted. "By using the 'green channel,' an environmentally friendly idea and novel approach to manufacturing is being brought to market quickly, helping to deliver real value and growth to a typically inventive small British firm."
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has made similar moves to spur innovation with the debut of the Track One Prioritized Patent Examination Program. However, the American program does not restrict the scope of patent applications to any one type of industry or idea.