USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program

A Discovery & Analysis Report

Wayfinder Digital analyzed the USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program looking at the patents issued between the time the program began on December 8, 2009 and when the program officially reached its 3,500 application threshold on February 16, 2012.

836 Patents and Counting.
The report covers 836 patents that were granted through February 14, 2012. It is an analysis of the inventions that were patented organized by patentECO™ IndexesEnergy, Industry, Transportation, Air, Water, and Agriculture. and the assignees and participants who took advantage of the program. We looked at which assignees got what patents, what independent inventors invented and what part young companies and university spin-outs played since these young guns are the engine of economic growth. The report includes deep dive analysis of key patent metrics — pendency, complexity, classifications of the inventions and more.

Is Green Technology More Than a Buzzword?
The goal of this analylsis was to discover what green technology was patented under the program and frame it in a way that is understandable and useful for inventors and researchers, talent scouts, for real estate and economic developers who want to see what's coming next in the green tech marketplace. Product managers will find the results useful in looking for technology and investors and business developers looking to see the which companies have accelerated the protection of their intellectual property in the Clean Technology space.

Is There a Benefit To Accelerated Examination?
Public policy professionals will find the report a useful and important look at the impact of accelerated examination of a particular class of technology. The report shows how the USPTO vision of the technology morphed into the vision of the technology held by innovators and their decisions on which inventions they selected to move to the front of the patent examiner' docket. This is an important piece of analysis for framing discussions around the new ability of the Director of the USPTO to grant accelerated examination to economically important technology under the America Invents Act.

Is Green Tech New? Review the Prior Art.
Many green technolgoies are not new — wind technology, solar energy, electric motors — so we added a section on green technology prior art and the timelines of some of these important "vintage" inventions.

A Policy Perspective

The America Invents Act allows the Director of the USPTO to prioritize "...examination of applications for products, processes, or technologies that are important to the national economy or national competitiveness... " This report provides science and technology policy makers, researchers, and economic development experts with a unique perspective on an accelerated examination program like that allowed under Section 25 of the American Invents Act.

Read the Snapshot  

Program Highlights

836 patents were issued through February 2012 covering 111 unique classes of inventions.

General Electric received the most patents under the program.

Young Guns — the young companies that are the engines of economic and job growth, represented 35% of the firms receiving patents under the program through February 2012.

Four young gun companies ranked among the top recipients of patents under the program.

The top category of patents granted under the program was Wind Energy. Eighty patents were granted for impeller for wind turbines inventions. The most patents for in any single class.

General Electric received the most patents under the program.

Internal combustion engine inventions received twice the number of patents than those granted for electric and hybrid vehicle inventions.

Ford Global Technology received the second highest number of patents under the program.

The rules of engagement.

The Rules of Engagement section provides information on the details of the USPTO Green Tech Pilot Program, the background on the program, its goals and objectives, how applications qualified, the original classifications, and the rules for applicants qualifying for accelerated examination under the program. The spectrum of "green inventions" is fascinating.

Subscribers receive updates as new patents are granted and Way Better Patents™ newsletter.

About the Program →

How the report is organized.

The analysis is organized according to Way Better Patent's patentECO Clean Tech indexes: Energy, Industry, Transportation, Air, Water, and Agriculture.

Each major index section starts with the highlights for that section, the patents, a review of the assignees, followed by the science and technology of the inventions and commentary. The side bars provide context on the inventions and technology and links to interesting clean tech prior art.

Our Findings →

Key metrics and deep dive data.

The major index sections are followed by key metrics — consolidated views of the patents, inventors, and assignees, pages on the top assignees, the young companies that participated in the program, and where the inventors and the assignees are. Deep Dive pages delve into topics like pendency, classification, complexity, which patents indicate that taxpayer funding contributed to the invention, and other patent statistics information.

Green Tech Articles →

back to top