The United States Patent and Trademark Office is once again accepting applications for its Patents for Humanity Program – a program that recognizes efforts by patent owners and licensees who address global challenges in health and standards of living. The USPTO will accept applications through December 8th. Applications can be submitted through the USPTO’s website, https://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patents-humanity.
The Patents for Humanity Program began as a pilot in 2012 and is now in its fourth cycle. The Program provides winners with interesting incentives (that is, beyond the incentive for benefiting your fellow man) in the form of certificates that can be redeemed to accelerate one of many prosecution matters at the Patent Office. Example prosecution matters that can be accelerated include:
- Examination of a patent application, including one appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) from that application.
- An ex parte reexamination proceeding, including one appeal to the PTAB from that proceeding.
- An appeal to the PTAB, without accelerating the matter which generated the appeal.
The competition is open to any patent owner, patent applicant, or patent licensee. If a Patent Application is used as the basis for the Program submission, the applicant must demonstrate that a Notice of Allowance for one or more claims from that application has been issued before receiving the reward certificate. Additional terms and conditions for the program can be found at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Patents%20for%20Humanity%20terms%202017.pdf.