The green technology sector continues to be among the most innovative segments of the American economy. But as more companies try to associate environmentally-friendly properties with their products and services, USPTO officials are shining a brighter light on applications for green trademarks.
According to Triple Pundit, the USPTO has adopted an unofficial new prosecution policy by which all applicants filing for trademarks that include the word "green" must submit supplementary information regarding the eco-friendly nature of their goods or services. This quality control measure is grounded in provisions of the Lanham Act, which already enables the agency to reject applications that contain deceptive claims.
Similar initiatives have previously been launched by the Federal Trade Commission as a means of deterring so-called "greenwashing" in advertising campaigns. According to the news source, the USPTO will assist the FTC in the regulation of green cleaning supplies while independently addressing more substantial issues related to construction, power and energy.
As public and private organizations around the world continue to promote the accelerated development of green technologies, equitable trademark management could become all the more important. According to Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, the U.S. is one of at least 10 countries that have already made significant investment in green innovator incubator programs at a federal level.