United States Patent and Trademark Office April 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Patents for Humanity Program
Document Number: 2014-07489
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) recently concluded a twelve-month pilot program called Patents for Humanity to incentivize the use of patented technologies for humanitarian purposes, culminating with an awards ceremony in April 2013. Following the success of this pilot, the USPTO is continuing Patents for Humanity as an annual awards competition. The USPTO will announce an application period each year of the competition. For 2014, applications will be accepted from April 15 to September 15, 2014. Participants will submit program applications describing what actions they have taken with their patented technology to either address humanitarian needs among an impoverished population or further research by others on humanitarian technologies. Applications will be accepted in five categories: (1) Medicine, (2) Nutrition, (3) Sanitation, (4) Household Energy, and (5) Living Standards. Independent judges will review the program applications, and Federal employees from other agencies will recommend awards based on these reviews. For the 2014 competition, two types of awards will be made: Patents for Humanity Awards and honorable mentions. The Patents for Humanity Award is the top award for applicants best representing the Patents for Humanity principles. Patents for Humanity Award recipients in 2014 will receive a certificate to accelerate select matters before the USPTO and public recognition for their efforts, including an award ceremony sponsored by the USPTO. Honorable mentions in 2014 will receive accelerated examination of one patent application and a featured writeup on the USPTO Web site. A portion of honorable mentions may be awarded for the best up and coming technologies. The USPTO expects to award roughly ten Patents for Humanity Awards and up to twenty honorable mentions in 2014. The exact number of awards may vary depending on the number and quality of program applications received. Types of awards for subsequent years will be announced with the application period in the Federal Register. Patents for Humanity certificates awarded through the 2014 competition can be redeemed to accelerate one of the following matters: An ex parte reexamination proceeding, including one appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) from that proceeding; a patent application, including one appeal to the PTAB from that application; or an appeal to the PTAB of a claim twice rejected in a patent application or reissue application or finally rejected in an ex parte reexamination, without accelerating the underlying matter which generated the appeal. Inter partes reexaminations and interference proceedings are not eligible for acceleration, nor are post-grant reviews, inter partes reviews, covered business method reviews, derivation proceedings, or supplemental examinations. Certificates awarded are not transferable to other parties.
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