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Patent lawyers say clients with green-technology patent applications are already enthusiastic about a recently announced U.S. Patent and Trademark Office pilot program to speed up green-technology patent applications. The “Green Technology Pilot Program,” which was announced on Monday, will enable the first 3,000 eligible patent applicants who file a petition to obtain an accelerated review of their filings. The PTO estimates that the average time for a first PTO office action on green-technology patent applications is 30 months, and the average final action takes 40 months. The pilot program is open to patent applications relating to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas emissions reductions. “Every day an important green tech innovation is hindered from coming to market is another day we harm our planet and another day lost in creating green businesses and green jobs,” said PTO director David Kappos, in a statement. The green-technology pilot is one of several initiatives the PTO has rolled out this year to trim the backlog, which totaled 735,961 applications as of Sept. 30. Last month, the PTO announced a pilot program that enables inventors from small organizations to get accelerated review of a patent if they abandon another one. Stuart Meyer, an intellectual property partner at Mountain View, Calif.-based Fenwick & West, expects that the PTO will reach the 3,000 application limit fairly quickly. “It’s a step in the right direction,” Meyer said. “I don’t know to what extent the patent office’s current resources will let them expand it.” Mary Rose Scozzafava, a Boston intellectual property partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr, said clients are already interested in the program. “I’ve been on the phone with quite a few clients today,” said Scozzafava on Wednesday. “[For] a lot of small companies, or even not so small companies in this area, any time they can see an opportunity to move things through the PTO a little faster, they’re very interested.”

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