Today in Cleantech

Today’s green technology news is about patents — or the lack thereof. CNET tells us that a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office program launched last December (pdf) to accelerate green tech patent applications isn’t getting nearly as much participation as hoped. Only 1,477 patent applications have been filed so far — less than half the 3,000 allocated. What’s the holdup? Well, Silicon Valley patent lawyers were wary of the program from the beginning, partly because the scope didn’t include a number of green technologies, such as batteries. The USPTO loosened the rules in May, when about 950 applications had been received, to expand allowed technologies, and is considering extending it for another year. Still, companies that have participated, such as Skyline Solar, say they’ve cut years off their wait for approval.