The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patents for Humanity initiative may get a boost, thanks to legislation introduced in Congress.  The bill, originally introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), seeks to build on the existing USPTO program by providing additional incentives for the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs.

As I have previously discussed, the Patents for Humanity program accelerates certain patent processes for applicants who use patented technologies to address humanitarian needs. Unlike other pilot programs, it is run as an awards competition. Participating patent applicants, patent owners, and licensees submit program applications describing what actions they have taken with their patented technology to address humanitarian needs among an impoverished population or further research by others on humanitarian technologies. .

The proposed legislation, S. 3652, initially died in committee, but was re-introduced this year by Patrick Leahy as S. 712: Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act of 2013.  The legislation would authorize the holder of an acceleration certificate issued pursuant to the Patents for Humanity Program to transfer the certificate to a third party.  As explained by Sen. Leahy, the hope is that allowing the certificates to be transferred will make the program more attractive to patent owners, particularly small businesses.

For more information about how to participate in the Patents for Humanity Initiative or other USPTO pilot programs, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

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