The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will offer an awards competition for patent owners and licensees. For over two centuries, strong patents have provided business incentives that encourage technological progress to build our modern world. As we struggle to combat the issues plaguing many of the world’s poor, patents play an essential role in creating lasting solutions.
The Patent for Humanities program is the USPTO’s voluntary pilot program to recognize patent owners who apply their patented technology to address humanitarian needs.
Participants in the program will send in applications describing how they’ve used their patented technology or products to address humanitarian challenges. Judges will choose winners in four categories: medical technology, food and nutrition, clean technology and information technology.
Winners will receive a certificate for accelerated processing of select patent USPTO matters. The program creates a powerful tool for businesses to expedite handling of their most important matters and help validate technology in the market – leading to quicker and more efficient investment decisions.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the vast humanitarian challenges we face. Patents for Humanity will seek to recognize businesses of all shapes and sizes. Businesses are finding unique and creative ways to reach people in the developing world with sustainable solutions.
Highlighting success stories of humanitarian engagement that are compatible with business interests and strong patent rights will demonstrate how businesses can effectively contribute while maintaining commercial markets.