Press Releases
NFTC in the News
View from the Council

Press Releases

USPTO Honors Global Innovation Forum Members for Efforts to Address Humanitarian Needs
Date: 4/12/2013
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington DC– The Global Innovation Forum, a project of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation, today applauded Gilead Sciences, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble, three companies honored last night with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patents for Humanity program awards. All are members of the Global Innovation Forum and were among 10 companies selected to receive awards in this first-ever competition.

"USPTO's Patents for Humanity program is pioneering policymaking that improves the enabling environment for innovation to meet common global challenges like development, public health, climate change and food security," said Global Innovation Forum Executive Director John Stubbs. "Patents alone do not put innovation in the hands of people in need. Delivering technology to hard-to-reach markets around the world requires extraordinary effort, and this program should be commended for recognizing that work by leading American innovators."

"We are honored to be included among this impressive class of recipients," said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President for Corporate and Medical Affairs at Gilead Sciences. "Our access program, built on the strength of U.S., Indian and international patent law, demonstrates that intellectual property can work to empower access to medicines. Our generic partners in India and Africa really share this award with us – their contributions to manufacturing innovation have saved millions of lives."

"Powerful software that can interpret and make sense of the changing world around us requires an intensive and long-term investment in research," said Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft. "Microsoft can make these investments and provide innovations like Infer.NET free of charge for non-commercial activities because we can commercialize our most inventive discoveries. Supported by strong patent protections, the extraordinary thinkers represented in all categories of the USPTO Patents For Humanity award have the resources they need to tackle complex humanitarian problems and make a difference in our world."

"On behalf of P&G employees and our many partners, we're thrilled to receive one of the first Patent for Humanity awards for our innovative P&G water purification packets," said Dr. Greg Allgood, Director and Founder of the P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water Program. "Now, we're more determined than ever to scale-up our efforts so that we can save one life every hour in the developing world by providing 2 billion liters of clean water every year by 2020."

Patents for Humanity is the USPTO's flagship program that creates business incentives for using patented technology to address global challenges in health and standards of living. Last year, participants submitted applications to USPTO describing how they have addressed humanitarian needs with patented technology in the fields of medicine, food and nutrition, clean technology, and information technology. After a rigorous selection process, USPTO announced last night recipients at an awards ceremony held in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room. In addition to recognition of their work, recipients were awarded a certificate for accelerated processing of select matters at the USPTO. More information on the Patents for Humanity program is available here:

About the NFTC Foundation
The National Foreign Trade Council was founded in 1914 and is the oldest and largest trade association devoted entirely to advocating an open, rules-based international trade system. NFTC promotes open markets and U.S. engagement in the world on behalf of its member companies, which include Abbvie, Caterpillar, eBay, General Electric, Hanes Brands, IBM, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart. The Global Innovation Forum is a project of NFTC’s educational arm, the NFTC Foundation, which brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to create a better understanding of how the innovation ecosystem and public policy can improve the lives of workers, families and communities.
Follow us on: