Congratulations to the 2013 Patents for Humanity Award recipients.


Patents for Humanity creates business incentives for using patented technology to improve the lives of the poor. 

Apply by October 31, 2012!

For over two centuries, strong patents have provided business incentives that encourage technological progress to build our modern world.  As we struggle against humanitarian issues plaguing many of the world's poor, patents play an essential role in creating lasting solutions.

Patents For Humanity is the USPTO's voluntary prize competition for patent owners and licensees.  The pilot program encourages businesses of all kinds to apply their patented technology to addressing the world's humanitarian challenges.  As an incentive, winners will receive a certificate for expedited processing of certain matters before the USPTO.

Participants will submit applications describing how they have addressed humanitarian needs with their patented technology.  Judging will be performed by researchers from academia and Federal labs donating their time.  Up to 50 winners will be chosen in the pilot year, with winners receiving a certificate for accelerated processing at the USPTO.

Applications will compete in four categories of global issues:

    • Medical Technology
    • Food & Nutrition
    • Clean Technology
    • Information Technology

Eligible technologies may include life-saving medicines and vaccines, medical diagnostic equipment, more nutritious or heartier crops, food storage & preservation technology, water sterilization devices, cleaner sources of household light and heat, or information devices promoting literacy and education, among others.

The program is open to all types of organizations.  Universities and small businesses are at the forefront of humanitarian endeavors, pioneering innovative new ways to reach people in need.  Patents for Humanity seeks to recognize the important contributions made by a diverse range of organizations.

For more information, see the Patents for Humanity program page at USPTO.


Patent owners and licensees


fill out program application

Hackathon Sponsors


USPTO Humanitarian Award (50)

Winners will receive:
* U.S. government recognition at a public awards ceremony
* Publicity of your socially conscious efforts
* Accelerated processing of select matters at USPTO

See the Rules section for more info.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Download and complete an application packet during the submission period (Mar 1 – Oct 31, 2012).  When finished, upload a zip file with your completed packet.  Any additional materials you wish to submit should be included in the zip file as well.

You may also upload images, a video, or a link to a website related to your application.  These will be included on your submission page for the public to see, but will not be considered in the judging process.


To be announced

To be announced

Judging Criteria

  • Offline
    Judging will be performed offline with the criteria listed in the Rules section of this site.

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