An update on intellectual property issues from my colleague, John Rafter:

On December 7, 2009 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") announced the launch of a pilot program to accelerate the examination of certain green technology patent applications.

Under the Green Technology Pilot Program, patent applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, or greenhouse gas emissions reduction will be advanced out of turn for examination without meeting all of the current requirements of the accelerated examination program (e.g., examination support document). The catch: the USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions to make special, and the petitions must be filed before December 8, 2010 (unless the program is extended). For further details click here.