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Green is Good

Written by Tim Mount on 07 June 2009

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Green is Good

7 June 2009

In a welcome and free move David Lammy, Minister for Intellectual Property, on behalf of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) issued a press release on the 12th of May 2009 allowing patent applications made via a so-called Green Channel to be granted in only nine months. This is less than half the current average processing time of two to three years.

Patent applicants must be able to demonstrate that their invention relates to green or environmentally-friendly technology when applying for a UK patent.

It has always been possible to accelerate or expedite the process however previously, where an applicant wished to have their patent application accelerated through the Search and Examination stages for any reason, they were obliged to demonstrate to the IPO why such acceleration was important. Now according to the UK IPO in cases where the applicant can make a reasonable assertion that the invention has some environmental benefit, the applicant can request the Search and/or Examination stages be accelerated without any further justification. The application will then be fully searched and examined by a technically-qualified patent examiner.

The new initiative, which forms part of the Government's wide programme of measures to tackle climate change, has immediate effect and will be open to existing as well as new applications. To take advantage of the Green Channel an applicant must make a request to the Intellectual Property Office in writing, indicating:

That their application relates to a 'green' or environmentally-friendly technology; and

Which actions they wish to accelerate: Search, Combined Search and Examination, Publication, and/or Examination.

To accompany this change David Lammy said:

Climate change affects us all and any actions we take now to improve low-carbon technology has got to be positive for both the environment and our future economic competitiveness.


We have already taken great steps forward in greener motoring, supporting the development of new vehicles and encouraging motorists to make greener choices.


Today’s initiative builds on this by offering innovative UK businesses working in green technologies the chance to get high-quality patent rights faster than ever before. This in turn will speed up the time it takes to get products to market, benefiting both business and consumers.

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