Fast Track Patents for Green Inventions
Businesses developing environmentally-friendly products will be able to patent their ideas more quickly – following the launch of a fast-track process by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
Under the new scheme, a patent could be granted in just nine months – less than half the current average processing time of two to three years. The initiative is already in force and is open to existing as well as new applications.
Until now, applicants who wished to have their patent application accelerated for any reason were obliged to demonstrate to the IPO why fast tracking was necessary.
However, the new system waives this requirement. To qualify for the fast-track system, firms only need to demonstrate that their invention relates to environmentally-friendly technology and that they would like a fast-track application.
According to the IPO, the new system will assist small firms keen to get their product out to market as soon as possible. An IPO spokesman added;
“Instead of waiting several years for a patent application to be approved, firms who are ready to go with their product could start selling it and making money at a much earlier stage,”
“This can only benefit start-ups, smaller ventures and individual inventors, particularly in the current climate."
Fees remain the same for the faster service, at £130 for the search element of the patent process, and £70 for the examination stage.
The IPO said there were no current plans to extend the fast-track service to other industry sectors, although it advised those that required urgent patent approval to highlight this on their application.