The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced Wednesday it is extending a green technology incentive program aimed at spurring continued innovation in the renewable energy industry.
The program, which was launched in December of 2009, expedites the review process of patent and trademark applications meant to reduce carbon emissions or improve the environment. Such green tech inventions have benefited from an average 49-day review process, as opposed to the usual duration of up to two years for other patent applications.
Since the initiative began, the USPTO has approved 790 petitions and 79 patents. Wednesday's announcement declared that the program will be extended until December 31, 2011.
"We’ve seen great results so far for those applications in the green tech program," director David Kappos told Bloomberg. "By doing so, we hope to help bring more green inventions to market, stimulate investment in green technology and create jobs."
The extension will also provide the agency with more time to reach its goal of 3,000 green tech patent applications, creating an incentive for intellectual assets in the industry. The Obama administration is encouraging investment and aid for emerging renewable energy markets as a means to compete with markets such as China and India, and reduce reliance on oil.