This Note examines potential changes within the American patenting system that might renew the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) dedication to the promotion of progress through a post-grant environmental challenge to patents. There are many ways to encourage “green” innovation by challenging practices that harm the environment, but the patent system has a unique ability to discourage environmentally harmful innovation by refusing to grant exclusionary rights—rights that many industries require to thrive. However, a post-grant environmental challenge would undoubtedly disrupt the American patent system in severe ways that this Note does not address. Therefore, this Note is not arguing that such a challenge should be implemented, but serves the purpose of starting a discussion. Where can we find the tools to combat climate change? Here, this Note discusses how the existing incentives within the patent system could be manipulated to encourage sustainable innovation within industry.
This abstract has been taken from the author's introduction.