USPTO Seeks to Incentivize Humanitarian Technologies

September 24th, 2010

Highlight: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently announced that it is seeking public comments on proposals to incentivize the creation and distribution of technologies that address humanitarian needs.  Under a proposed pilot program, patent holders who make their technologies available for humanitarian purposes would be eligible for a voucher entitling them to accelerated re-examination of their patent(s).  Some proposed examples of such “humanitarian technologies” include diagnostic medical tools, treatments for sanitation or water purification/cleansing, crops with higher yields or better nutritional value, etc.  Participants could qualify for the proposed pilot program by either making their patented technologies available to impoverished nations, or by making them available to researchers that are working on technologies to address various humanitarian needs.