Washington, DC — Bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) was recently signed into law by President Trump. The Patents for Humanity Program Improvement ActH.R. 7259, strengthens incentives for innovators to use their talents to solve global humanitarian challenges.

The legislation is co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), who Chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet; and Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL-02), Ranking Republican Member on the Subcommittee. Companion legislation (S.2814) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

“The signing of this bill into law is a wonderful example of us coming together to help solve problems that impact millions. We saw that we could do our part to expand this program and give innovators more freedom to support one another as they aim to serve our world,” said McBath. “The ideas in the Patents for Humanity program truly have the potential to change our world for the better, and our legislation encourages inventors to pursue their life-saving ideas and global humanitarian solutions. I thank my colleagues for their support on this measure.”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “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 other innovators to receive a certificate via transfer.

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.

Text of the legislation can be found online here.