Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you Believe in Santa?

Santa Claus. The magical being that brings us a bag-full of free goodies. Does he exist? I would say so. The closest we can get to the idea of Santa is nature itself, a beautiful blue world where air is free to breathe and sunlight provides free warmth and energy. Many, many, many years ago, we also enjoyed free food and free water. Now we have to work for it. We need to grow our vegetables and raise our cattle. We must transport our water from distant locations.

The clock will not turn back. The road to Eden is closed. We now inhabit a crowded world that is becoming increasingly polluted and depleted of resources, a world threatened by the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases. We are now realizing that the Earth is a limited closed system and for long term sustainability, all our consumption needs to be recycled. As a species, humanity needs to grow up. No more Santa, baby!

The best method of conveying this idea to our capital-driven society is through the notion of Natural Capital, the view that some parts of nature yield value. For example, an equatorial forest that recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen is worth trillions of dollars. Imagine how much it would cost to build the machinery to perform this task! Some metals such as Indium used in computer and cell phone displays may be in short supply in the short future. Our only alternative for these metals, then, will be to mine other planets. Imagine the cost of such an enterprise. This idea of natural capital leads us to view Earth's valuable resources just like any other assets and to use them in a sustainable fashion.

Human beings faced difficulties before and survived because of their intelligence. About 200,000 years ago humanity almost met its demise because of an ice age. The number of humans then plummeted to just a few thousands. Our ancestors were probably saved by a lone inventor who invented fire to keep them warm - or a method for keeping fire going – maybe by smoking a pipe filled with aromatic or mood enhancing herbs – or a new fur clothing design - we’ll never know.

Fire has been a wildly successful invention. We use it to heat our homes and cook our foods, to refine our metals and produce our chemicals. It propels our cars and carried us to the Moon. However, its excessive use is now leading us toward the opposite catastrophic extreme – global warming – with potential dire consequences – and again inventors are needed to extricate us from this self imposed doom. Sustainability and recycling are the answers to the problems facing us, our children and their children.

How do you, the inventor, play a crucial part in repairing the world? If you have any idea related to energy saving, or sustainability, or natural resource management, Uncle Sam wants you. The Department of Energy and the National Science foundation (among other government agencies) have been issuing solicitation funded by recovery money and aimed at solving these crucial problems.

Solving an environmental problem will be of value not only to you but to everyone on Earth. If you want to apply for government funding go to the SBIR DOE site or to the SBIR NSF site. All US government SBIR solicitations can be found at the small business innovation research site. Remember, the government funding cycle can be quite lengthy. The time between submission of a proposal and funding can be many months. Start now!

Inventing is just like magic. It is the creation of something out of nothing, the generation of value where there was none before. Let’s make a special effort to solve one of the environmental problems. Examples of green technology include the solar cell, energy saving fluorescent light bulbs, drip irrigation systems, electric cars, wind mills, hydroelectric power, low-flush toilets, etc. Several charitable foundations are ready to pour money into your project if you can show that you can save the planet.

If we combine all the creative talent available, 2011 can be a year of innovation in green technology. This is the best gift we can leave to the next generation. And perhaps there will be reasons to believe in Santa after all.


For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to: If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once Upon An Invention there was a Social Network

The recent movie, “The Social Network” describes the genesis of Facebook as follows: Mark Zuckerberg, then at Harvard walked off a consulting job for fellow students, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, allegedly, stealing their social network idea. He then dropped out of Harvard and started Facebook, thereby becoming the world’s youngest billionaire.

Assuming the movie to be factually correct, how rich would Zuckerberg be if he had signed an intellectual property agreement with his employers? It all depends on the substance of the agreement.

In an ideal world, intellectual property agreements between an employer and an employee or consultant should be designed to protect both sides. Any IP developed as part of the job and using the employer’s resources should belong to the employer. Any IP not related to the job and developed without employer’s resources should belong to the employee or consultant. Furthermore, the agreement should not curtail any future work opportunities that the employee or consultant may have. Here is the law in California:

I. California Labor Code Provisions:

A. Section 2860: Everything which an employee acquires by virtue of his employment, except compensation which is due to him from his employer, belongs to the employer, whether acquired lawfully or unlawfully, or during or after the expiration of the term of his employment.

B. Section 2870:

(a) Any provision in an employment agreement which provides that an employee shall assign, or offer to assign, any of his or her rights in an invention to his or her employer shall not apply to an invention that the employee developed entirely on his or her own time without using the employer's equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade secret information except for those inventions that either:

(1) Relate at the time of conception or reduction to practice of the invention to the employer's business, or actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development of the employer; or

(2) Result from any work performed by the employee for the employer.

(b) To the extent a provision in an employment agreement purports to require an employee to assign an invention otherwise excluded from being required to be assigned under subdivision.

From the point of view of the employer it is best to have every employee or consultant sign:

A Non-Disclosure Agreement with consultants or employees before they are privy to technology under development; and

an Intellectual Property Agreement before the project or job begins.

From the point of view of an employee the following should be considered:

Before you begin a new employment:

Write down descriptions of your inventions that you have already conceived.

Upload these descriptions to a secure service such as , a service of

When you begin a new job you are required to sign an intellectual property agreement with your employer. Review its terms carefully before you sign it:

Do inventions developed in your own time with your own resources and not within the purview of your job belong to you?

Is there a non-compete clause that kicks in after the end of your employment?

Can you exclude your existing invention(s) from the agreement?

During the term of your employment:

Never use any company resource to develop your own invention, including computers, Internet, emails, copy machines, library, phones, cell phones and any other company perks. If the company determines that you used its resources, it may use that as a reason to deny you the ownership of your invention.

Never use any company trade secrets in your invention.

After you leave your employment:

Never divulge any trade secret you may have learned or violate any non-disclosure agreement you may have signed with your previous employer.

So what is the moral of the story? We’ll ever know what might have been if Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins had signed an IP agreement. What we do know, however, is that a well written, clear and fair IP agreement can prevent confusion and litigation.

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to: you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Speeding up Patent Prosecution

The statistics published by the patent office are mind boggling. Since the creation of the patent system in the US more than 7 million patents have been awarded. At least 400,000 applications were processed last year and more are expected next year. There are 728,000 applications in the pipeline; 6000 examiners are employed.

One of the most important statistics is the pendency rate: the length of time it takes for a patent to be awarded. The current wait is about 3 years. Software patent applications may wait 5 years. Given that the life of a patent is 20 years, these numbers are sobering. How can you speed up the prosecution of your invention? Several options are at your disposal.

Petitions “to Make Special” can be filed to have your application considered out of turn by the USPTO. (MPEP 70.02) No fee is required for this petition if you invoke any the following reasons:

· You are at least 65 years old; or

· Your health is precarious; or

· Your invention will improve the environment; or

· Your invention will contribute to the development or conservation of energy resources; or

· Your invention will assist in countering terrorism.

· Your invention involves superconductivity

Other reasons for filing a petition to make special require a fee. These include:

· Manufacturing of the invention is being delayed by the absence of a patent; or

· Your invention is being infringed upon; or

· Your invention is related to recombinant DNA or

· Your invention relates to HIV/AIDS or cancer.

In addition to the above petition mechanism, a pilot program has been initiated by the patent office, called the Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction. It allows inventions relating to green and clean technology to be placed on the fast track. The claims must be directed to a single invention that materially enhances the quality of the environment, or that materially contributes to: (1) the discovery or development of renewable energy resources; (2) more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources; or (3) greenhouse gas emission reduction. Only 3000 applications will be accepted this year in this program.

Yet another program, called accelerated examination has been set up by the USPTO. It requires many more documents to be filed than a regular application including:

· no more than 20 claims with up to 3 independent claims;

· an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) with a maximum of 20 prior art references materially relevant to the claims in your patent application;

· an "Examination Support Document" which explains in detail why each claim in your application is patentable over the prior art references with pinpoint citations;

· Results and methodology of prior art search.

This program requires your representative to perform, not only his job but also the job of the examiner. In comparison to court proceedings, he will have to act both as defense and prosecution. It is much more expensive than a regular patent application and can easily double or triple the cost.

Why is there such a huge backlog at the patent office? There is a combination of factors: The first is the sheer volume of applications driven by the desire of every inventor on the planet to give preference to the US Patent Office to file their invention. Why? Because the US is the largest market and is respectful of patent law. The second is that Congress is diverting filing fees paid by inventors, which should go to fund the USPTO activities, to other programs. These funds could pay for more examiners and better computer hardware and software. If you think this is wrong, contact your congressman and voice your displeasure with the current system.

For all its faults, the enormous delay at the USPTO may have a silver lining. While accelerating the patent process is usually the desirable thing to do, there are a few instances when this delay works for you instead of against you. For example, the technology or the market may not be ready for your invention. You may not have enough funds to pursue its marketing or manufacturing. In these cases, the delay at the patent office is exactly what the doctor ordered. In fact you can lengthen the process by postponing replies to office actions for as long as the response rules allow. You can also petition for a suspension of prosecution for up to 6 months (CFR1.103a).

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to: If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. © 2010 by George Levy

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Everything I Know about Inventing, I Learned Playing Baseball

What do baseball and inventing have in common? Both require you to be at the right place at the right time. In baseball you need to start running as soon as you know where the ball is going, and position yourself in the path of the ball before it reaches you. In inventing, you need to file your invention early enough that by the time the patent is awarded – and the delay could be several years - the technology is there to manufacture it and the market is ready to purchase it.

You need to be at the right place at the right time. If you get there too early, you have a premature invention. For example, MP3 players became practical only when chip manufacturers were able to produce memory chips (RAMs) to record music less expensively than magnetic tapes. Even though memory chips did exist in the 70’s it would have been premature to patent such a music player. It would have been too expensive and bulky and no one would have bought it.

Another example of premature invention is sound on film invented by Charles E. Fritts, who filed Patent 1,203,190 in 1890. His invention could not possibly be manufactured because audio amplifiers did not exist at that time. Sound movies only appeared in the late 1920’s.

Another premature invention was the field effect transistor invented by J.E. Lilienfield who filed patent 1,745,175 in 1926. The field effect transistor only became realizable after the introduction of silicon planar technology.

The reverse is also true and an invention can be “postmature.” For example, don’t even try to invent a better sundial or solar compass. While these inventions might have been valuable in the 1800’s, today, GPS and solid state clocks render these inventions completely obsolete.

One of the first items in your business plan is answering this question: by the time your patent is awarded will the technology be available to build your invention and the market ready to purchase it? If yes, then apply for patent right away.

Why such a rush you may ask? The answer is that you are competing against a world-wide population which is growing and becoming better educated every year. The competition is fierce especially if your field is fast moving such as the Internet or biotechnology. In this situation, do not wait for all the technological and marketing ducks to be in a row. By the time they are, it will be too late and someone else will have beaten you to the patent office.

Trend awareness is important. Devices which may not be technologically or economically possible today, may be, in the future. Where are we now and where are we heading? To answer this question you need to be aware of technological and economic trends. Let’s examine a few current developments:

Recent technological advances include the iPhone, the iPad and the growth of social networks. Can you predict where Internet technology will be 5 years from now?

Latest climate related events have raised suspicions that oil consumption is causing global warming. Without oil, can you predict how transportation will be affected 5 years from now? How can you position yourself to take advantage of this trend?

Our nation’s addiction to oil is an increasing liability. It could be solved almost overnight by further encouraging businesses to allow their employees to telecommute to work. This suits professionals such as attorneys and accountants very well. It is also partially workable for engineers, some doctors (for example radiologists) and teachers. Imagine a world of telecommuters. What would be their needs? How would you solve their problems?

Telecommuting for employees leads to on-line education for students. The conventional educational model is too expensive for the service it delivers and has many competing alternatives available to replace it. On-line education can provide quality and inexpensive college education to a large segment of the population. Imagine a world where on-line education is the norm. What would the needs of the teachers and of the students be? How would you satisfy these needs?

The above is just a sample of trend examination. Keep up to date with the latest research. One of my favorite sites is where I scan the headlines every day. Another valuable resource is provided by Google at where you can study all kinds of trends associated with any particular topic.

And one more thing. If you’re going to play baseball watch the left field carefully.

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to: you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writing a Business Plan

You came up with a million dollar idea. The first step to success is to develop a business plan.

Your business plan is essentially a road map that will help you navigate the difficult road that lies ahead and lead you to your ultimate destination: to make your invention successful and profitable. A business plan should never be cast in concrete. It is a living, changeable document that should adapt to evolving business conditions. This changeability, however, should not be taken as an excuse to skimp on how much effort you spend on writing the plan. It should be as thorough as possible. The better and more detailed your plan is, the more likely your endeavor will be successful.

The plan should be written for the following audiences:

· Yourself. You will find that carefully stating your goals and clearly planning your project is invaluable. You will use your plan as a road map to help you focus your ideas, organize yourself and plan your use of time.

· Private investors. Your plan will help potential investors evaluate your idea and hopefully conclude that it is a winner and that they should invest in it.

· The government. US agencies may be soliciting proposals regarding the problem solved by your invention. Your business plan will become part and parcel of your proposal to these agencies.

Your plan should cover the following seven topics:

· iMagination. The plan should include a clear description of your invention and the problem it is intended to solve.

· Manufacturing. Your idea may be enticing in principle, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of fabricating it, it may cost too much. Your plan should describe how your invention will be manufactured and how much it will cost to make. For initial production look into manufacturers close to home. You will be able to communicate with them more easily and ultimately you will have better control over the final product.

· Marketing. To make a profit, your product must sell. Your plan should include the following:

1) an analysis of the business environment.

2) a description of the industry;

3) government regulations regarding your product;

4) competitors;

5) the segment of the population who will buy your product;

6) advertising methods;

7) distribution methods;

8) sales methods (e.g., Web, retail…);

9) the product’s sale price;

10) liability coverage in case of problems.

· Money. If you intend to pay investors with stock equity, you should explain how, given their initial investment and your own resources, this stock will grow in value and therefore lead to a high exit valuation. The explanation should include competitive advantages of your invention in the marketplace as well as upcoming growth opportunities.

· Management. A capable management team can make the difference between success and failure. Make sure to team up with people who can make your invention a success. List your team members, with their respective positions as well as their biographies including their accomplishments.

· Milestones. Provide a time chart showing your goals and intermediate milestones, also describing how much money, personnel (man-hours), time and equipment are required for each one. Identify the critical paths, that is, the steps which you think will be bottlenecks in reaching your goal.

· Monopoly. When your invention becomes a success on the marketplace your competitors will be tempted to copy it. Make sure to describe in your plan how you intend to protect your intellectual property. A patent is the best protection. It will give you a monopoly on your invention: the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, and importing the invention in the US. (35USC 112).

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to:

If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at

This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Important Supreme Court Decision – In Re Bilski

Good news for inventors! The long awaited decision from the Supreme Court in Re Bilski has finally been rendered. The Court stated that business methods and software are patentable. In addition it ruled that the so called “Specific Machine or Transformation” test is too restrictive and that other tests can be used.


The applicants (Bernard L. Bilski and Rand Warsaw) filed a business method patent application (on 10 April 1997) for a method of hedging risks in commodities trading. The patent was rejected by the examiner on the grounds that "the invention is not implemented on a specific apparatus and merely manipulates [an] abstract idea and solves a purely mathematical problem without any limitation to a practical application, therefore, the invention is not directed to the technological arts."

The inventor appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), which affirmed the rejection of the examiner. The Board concluded that the invention claimed by the applicant did not satisfy the Specific Machine or Transformation of Matter test. It held that the transformation of "non-physical financial risks and legal liabilities of the commodity provider, the consumer, and the market participants" is not patent-eligible subject matter because it is not tied to a particular machine nor does it produce a tangible transformation of matter. The courts stated that it did not produce a "useful, concrete and tangible result," and for this reason as well was not patentable.

The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court which issued its decision on June 28, 2010.

The Supreme Court Decision

The court unanimously affirmed the Federal Circuit’s ruling that Bilski’s patent should be rejected. The Justices agreed that abstract ideas cannot be patented and that the Bilski’s claims for methods of hedging were too abstract, and were describing a general process well established in the field.

However, the nine justices unanimously agreed that the Federal Circuit erred in relying solely on the “machine or transformation” test as the only criterion for determining if a process is patentable. The Supreme Court chastised the lower court for being too restrictive:

“This Court has more than once cautioned that courts ‘should not read into patent laws limitations and conditions which the legislature has not expressed.’”

In short, the Supreme Court made the following points:

· Laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable.

· Business method patents and software patents are patentable.

· The current test of "Specific Machine or Transformation of Matter" is an accurate test for patentability but not the only test.

· Other tests for patentability are also available. Unfortunately the Supreme Court did not specify what these other tests are, leaving this issue to be resolved in the future by the lower courts.

What Does this Mean to You the Inventor?

Patent law was drafted many years ago by legislators who could not have imagined the age of the computer and Internet and therefore the original statutes need to be re-interpreted in view of the modern technological landscape. In response to the modern world, the legislature and the courts move slowly and not always in a straight line. The pendulum swings back and forth between being too restrictive or too permissive in interpreting patent laws. Keep in mind that non-patentable subject matter includes (but is not limited to):

  • Laws of nature
  • Natural phenomena
  • Scientific principles
  • Abstract ideas
  • Pure algorithms

The recent court decision is good for inventors. It goes back to the original purpose of patent law which is to reward inventors:

“whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.(35USC 101).”

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to:

If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at

This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Friday, May 28, 2010

To Patent or not to Patent? – That is the Question

You came up with a million dollar idea. Should you bother patenting it? Why? Why not?

A simple reason for patenting is that if you intend to get development funds or to license your invention, you need proof that the invention actually belongs to you and is not already known and in the public domain. Selling your idea to potential investors or licensees without having a patent is like trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge. No savvy investor or buyer will take you seriously. Worse, the unscrupulous ones will take your idea and commercialize it themselves, leaving you out in the cold with no recourse.

A filed patent, provisional or not, gives you protection by providing you with a priority filing date – but a filed patent is neither a proof of innovation nor a proof of ownership: it is only a document stating that your invention has been filed with the US Patent Office. Nothing more.

An awarded patent is the proof of ownership. It signifies that your invention has been

· examined by the US Patent Office;

· compared with prior art;

· has been found to be original enough to be granted a patent; and

· actually belongs to you.

To be taken seriously you need an awarded patent. Not a search. Not a filed provisional application. Not even a filed non-provisional application. To be taken seriously in any licensing negotiation, you need an awarded patent.

In addition, if you intend to manufacture and sell the invention yourself, having a patent is also a good business move: the federal government has enacted patent law to reward inventors by giving them the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, and importing the invention in the US. A patent lasts 20 years from the date of filing, after which it falls into the public domain.

Patenting your invention is a good idea. But is your invention patentable? To be eligible for patent an idea needs to be useful; it can be a process, a machine, a manufacturing method, a composition of matter, or an improvement on an already existing patent (35USC 101).

Ideas which are not patentable include:

1) Printed matter or music - these are eligible for copyright;

2) Naturally occurring substances except for those which are purified, modified, or genetically selected or engineered.

3) Scientific principles such as E=mc2.

4) Aggregate with no functional interconnection or no utility per se, such as a dishwasher with a telephone.

5) Illegal devices or methods.

6) Devices which do not work, for example, perpetual motion machines or time travel machines.

7) Atomic bombs. (Nuclear technology not associated with bombs is patentable and weapons are patentable).

8) Pure algorithms or mental processes. To be patentable ideas must be tied to a material transformation or to a particular machine.

Works of art and architectural designs are eligible for design patents. They may also be eligible for copyright.

Furthermore, to be patentable, your idea needs to be original. An idea used or published by others anywhere in the world is not patentable. Making such determination is difficult since any publication in any language since the invention of writing can be material in patentability. Do not skimp on the patent search. Do the search yourself, for example, using Google Search; then ask a professional to do it again before proceeding further.

Having determined that your invention is patentable, the next step is to draft a business plan to find out if it has any money making potential. This will be the topic of a future newsletter.

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to:

If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at

This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Patent Reform – Presentation by Director of USPTO

Director David Kappos of the US Patent Office made two consecutive presentations on Thursday April 29, the first at the San Diego Inventors Forum and the second for the San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association. His mission: to improve the US Patent Office. The following are some of the proposed changes to patent law that he discussed:

Emphasis on Innovation
Director Kappos remarked that “innovation is the only sustainable source of advantage for world economies” and noted that IP is becoming the “world’s currency of innovation.” The proposed reform at the USPTO is based on this assumption.

Extension of provisional patents to 24 months

After filing a provisional application, applicants will be allowed to file a non-provisional applications and postpone paying the search and publication fees ($270 +$110 respectively for a small entity) by one year. Applicants would still be required to pay the non-provisional filing fee of $165 immediately and sign an oath or declaration. In addition the non-provisional would be published after 18 months from the filing of the provisional. This measure effectively provides an extension of the provisional patent process by allowing inventor to postpone paying for a full non-provisional application. More information can be found at:

Ombudsman Pilot Program

This program is designed to enhance the USPTO's ability to assist applicants and or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal prosecution process, the Ombudsman Pilot Program can assist in getting the process back on track. The Ombudsman Pilot Program is not intended to circumvent normal communication between applicants and or their representatives and examiners or Supervisory Patent Examiners (SPEs). More information on this program can be found at

Micro Entities

Currently the fees are structured for two business classes: small entities (for example organizations with 500 or less employees) and large entities. Filing fees for small entities are half of that for large entities. The new bill creates a third class: micro-entities which should benefit from a 75% fee discount. A micro-entity is defined in the bill rather narrowly. The inventor must have filed fewer than 5 prior patent applications, the application must be unassigned or assigned to an entity with 5 or fewer employees, and the inventor (if unassigned) or the assignee must have a gross income less than 2.5 times the average gross income from the prior year as reported by the Department of Labor.

First to Invent vs. First to File

According to Director Kappos, “first to file” vs. “first to invent” is a non-issue and for all practical purposes, the US is already operating as a first to file patent system. According to him the likelihood is 0.01% that two inventors files their invention nearly simultaneously and rely on the first to invent criteria during interference proceedings. In those situations, the first to file usually wins. In 2007 the total number of interference cases for all applicants, of all sizes that were decided based on a priority claim was 7! Moreover, of those 7 cases, only one case involved a small or medium sized entity. Therefore “first to invent” is a complication not worth perpetuating. Director Kappos makes simplifying but invalid assumptions. For a good rebuttal go to patentlyo.

Interviews with Examiners

Mr. Kappos is encouraging early interviews with examiners and has set forth provisions that encourage examiner-initiated interviews. Also, the USPTO has been holding additional interview practice training for examiners.

Green Tech

A new program “Green Tech” has been unveiled at the USPTO, with the mission to drive innovation in the green technology sector, increase U.S. competitiveness in green technology, and create green jobs. It is a pilot program designed to reduce the average processing time of green technology patent applications. Through this program, applications already on file in certain green technology areas will be eligible to be accorded special status and examined on an accelerated basis. To be eligible, applicants must file a no-cost petition for special status and indicate how the invention materially contributes to environmental quality, the discovery or development of renewable energy resources, more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources, or greenhouse gas emission reduction. You can get more information at ,

For archived newsletters and a lot of information for the small inventor go to:

If you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at

This newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. ©2010 by George Levy