Cline, McBath, Johnson, Roby bill fostering innovation passes House

(© W. Scott McGill –

The Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act introduced by Reps. Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), and Martha Roby (R-AL-02) passed the House of Representatives earlier this week.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patents for Humanity competition recognizes inventors who develop creative solutions to global humanitarian problems. Through this competition, the USPTO awards inventors with a certificate for an accelerated review of a future patent.

The Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act supports this program and the innovators it recognizes by making these acceleration certificates transferable while codifying the program into law. Smaller companies and the USPTO encourage the growth of this vital program.

This bill increases the power of the program to encourage those seeking to make global change to pursue their innovations, as well as the opportunity for similarly-sized start-ups to receive a certificate via transfer.

Cline said, “Applying for a patent is often an arduous process that discourages many from pursuing their talents. This legislation helps foster innovation by providing for an accelerated review of patents, thus allowing inventors to more easily achieve their dreams and protect the fruits of their endeavors. I was proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan bill and am pleased that it unanimously passed the House yesterday.”

McBath said, “It’s truly important that we uplift those who use their skills to develop technology and ideas that benefit our world. This legislation encourages inventors to pursue life-saving ideas and solutions to the world’s global humanitarian challenges. Its passage is a wonderful example of all of us coming together in a bipartisan manner to help solve problems that impact millions, and I’m proud that we can do our part to expand this program and give innovators more freedom to support one another.”

Innovations recognized in the past by the program have included better ways to diagnose and treat HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases, improved crops and better sources of nutrition energy sources for those without a reliable electric grid, and methods to preserve clean drinking water and improve sanitation.

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