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EcoAd Patent Fast-Tracked

EcoMedia’s application seeking patent protection for its controversial EcoAd advertising program has been granted special status within the Commerce Department’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The special status is a part of the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program that allows for expedited processing of patent applications related to green technology.

With the purchase of every EcoAd advertising package, a portion of dollars spent goes directly toward funding environmental and clean energy projects, all of which have been identified by local municipalities and public entities as being critical. In return, companies get to place the EcoAd logo on their advertisement.

The advertising program, which CBS acquired last year, was the target of a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission in April that accused EcoAd of greenwashing.

Environmental groups Friends of the Earth, the Rainforest Action Network and Center for Environmental Health, along with news website Ecopreneurist, filed the complaint. They alleged that EcoAd violates federal laws and the FTC’s Green Guides for environmental advertising claims.

But EcoMedia president and founder Paul Polizzotto told Environmental Leader. “I’m very, very proud of our work and I think we’ve been very clear about what EcoAds are and what they’re not.”

Recently, EcoMedia says, it has sought to educate consumers that EcoAds are “Ads Funding Environmental Projects.”

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