Interestingly, this has loosened up a bit in the past few months. Back in last December, the Green Technology Pilot program was created to encourage inventors to apply for patents related to green technology. If accepted, these patents would recieve priority screening, cutting down on the time needed to approve a patent. Back in May, the patent office eliminated the need for green technology patent applications to comply with previous qualifications, to broaden the definition of “green technology.” Often green tech inventions are incremental improvements to efficiency on already patented products, making it difficult for the improvements to be patented. According to the patent office, an invention counts as green technology if it involves discoveries related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
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