2014 Patents for Humanity Competition

The U.S. government has renewed the Patents for Humanity competition. This is an annual competition for innovators and innovations that address global challenges. Applications will be accepted April 15th to September 15th of 2014. 

To learn more and apply click HERE

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I'm trying to read how this process actually helps? To apply you already have to have a patent, i.e. you have to have already gone through all the expense of paying a patent lawyer to write it, and then the significant filing costs. Then *if* you win, they'll accelerate some other patent? This certainly doesn't address what they say, i.e.

Patents for Humanity is USPTO's awards competition recognizing patent owners and licensees working to improve global health and living standards for the less fortunate.  The program advances the president’s global development agenda by rewarding companies who bring life-saving technologies to underserved people of the world, while showing how patents are an integral part of tackling the world's challenges.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the vast humanitarian challenges we face. Patents for Humanity seeks to recognize innovators of all shapes and sizes. Businesses and others are finding unique and creative ways to reach people in the developing world with sustainable solutions.

i.e. its an after the fact reward, rather than a process of making it easier/cheaper to get  patents for humanitarian innovations. 


You bring up a very good point. The USPTO's competition is geared towards incentivizing people who already have patents which eliminates deserving potential applicants who have yet to receive one. The primary incentive is that future applications will have a much easier time with the long patent application process. 

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