Rajesh Patel - Associate, King & Spalding LLP; Tim Smith - Consultant/Patent Agent, King & Spalding LLP
While growth in the wind industry has slowed over the past year, a number of factors may help increase the growth rate in the near future. One of those factors is the development of new technologies in the wind industry. Protecting the intellectual property associated with these technological developments is important for maintaining a competitive advantage and growing market share. In September 2011, a patent reform bill was signed into law. This marks the first major reform to U.S. patent law in about 60 years. The new patent reform law also gives the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) additional freedoms to meet the needs of inventors in a more timely fashion. For example, new programs to expedite the patent application process are available to inventors wanting to procure patent rights more quickly than the more-than-three years that it currently takes to process a patent application in the green technology space at the USPTO. In addition to providing a brief overview of patents and the patent process, the presentation will discuss the relevant portions of the patent reform law as they apply to the wind industry and available ways to expedite the patent application process. Audience members of the wind industry who attend the presentation will gain a better understanding of the patent process in light of the recent patent reform law.