Promoting environmentally-friendly innovation has become a key priority in national and international environmental policy. Intellectual property (IP) regimes, particularly patent laws, are perhaps the most important of the regulatory vehicles that promote technological innovation. For this reason, a number of national IP offices have put in place measures to fast-track “green” patent applications. The first program was established by the UK in May 2009. Australia, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US followed in the same year. More recently, Canada (in March 2011) and Brazil and China (in 2012) launched similar programs. Under these programs, the time needed to obtain a patent can be significantly reduced – from several years to just a few months.

WIPO Magazine

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