Environmental Initiatives and the Role of the USPTO'S Green Technology Pilot Program

By Sarah M. Wong*

* J.D. Candidate, 2012, Marquette University Law School.

Excerpt from Environmental Initiatives and the Role of the USPTO'S Green Technology Pilot Program, 16 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 233 (Winter 2012)

I. Introduction

The United States (U.S.) has entered a heightened state of environmental awareness. America's history of industrialization and consumerism in the early 1900s resulted in the realization that an increasing rate of industrial growth wrought a devastating effect on the environment. This growing environmental awareness has peaked in the contemporary era. In the 1990s and the early 2000s, environmental issues were pushed to the forefront of American consciousness. 2 Political leaders have become advocates for the environment, 3 and their work prompted more Americans to recognize the environment as a top priority on the country's political agenda. 4 The American sentiment is evident in President Obama's goals for the new decade: creating a clean energy economy and reducing pollution levels. 5

This Comment will address the environmental problems that confront the U.S. and the steps that the government has taken to solve them. Specifically, research funding and patent protection have provided the green industry an incentive to increase research and development of green technology. For example, one of the recent programs to help improve the patent protection of green technology, the Green Technology Pilot Program ("Program"), accelerates the status of green technology through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patenting process. This Comment will suggest that the Program become a permanent feature within the USPTO and that it be expanded to allow maximum access. Finally, this Comment will recommend that the USPTO receive more funding (and keep the funding that it generates) to ...

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