Green patent benefit for UK businesses
Fast-track green patent applications are benefiting green UK businesses, says the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
On average, it takes a company eight months compared with 32 months for standard applications to obtain a patent.
Since May 2010 when the scheme came in, 329 patent applications have been, or are being, fast-tracked.
The Intellectual Property Office's Green Channel service offers accelerated processing for patent applications where the invention has an environmental benefit.
The Green Channel service has attracted interest from other countries with the US, Australia and South Korea all introducing similar schemes.
One third of the applications received so far by the service relate to energy saving. Green Channel applications have also been made for technologies ranging from harnessing natural sources of power, such as wind wave and solar energy, to recycling and transport.
Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox said: "The demand for low carbon products is growing across the world.
"Putting the UK at the forefront of the green technology industry will deliver enormous benefits to this country.
"It will provide the UK with economic growth and new jobs as well as improving our environment.
"Fast-tracking green patents provides businesses with practical help in developing green technology and bringing it to the consumer as quickly as possible."
Requests for fast-tracking can be refused if the invention does not have an environmental benefit but so far 2% of requests have so far been turned down. Alison Brown