Climate change is one of the major challenges in front of world leaders. Addressing climate change is one of the central challenges for the coming decades of the global community. The challenge is to intensify the environment for innovation, while enabling speedier dissemination of these green technologies to all parts of the world. Motivated by this realisation, economists have become even more interested in the mechanisms that facilitate the diffusion and development of new green technologies. Chief among these is intellectual property in the form of patents.
The impact of intellectual property rights on the diffusion of green development technologies is highly contested. On one side of the debate there are industrialised countries who emphasise the benefits of these rights, discussing that patents provide a stable incentive for the development of new technologies. On the other side, developing countries argue that patents restrict their capability to access technologies that would enable them to address climate change, while improving living standards. They emphasise that most patents which cover green development technologies are owned by private sector entities in industrialised countries. Patent activity is increasing in some developing countries, most notably China and India, which have become significant players in the wind and solar energy sectors. These countries are outliers, however entities in other developing countries generally lack the institutional capacity and financial resources to invent patentable green energy technologies. Also they find it difficult to license the technologies from other patent holders.
On top of this double exogenous factors, there is global dimensions of the climate change problem and a wide range of different green technologies applicable to the problem. Patenting effectiveness and patenting proclivities differ mainly across the various technological fields. This can be prevented by deconstructing the systems responsible for technological prohibitions possible in the first place in intellectual property. Intellectual property, such as patents and copyright, provides an opportunity to rich companies to demand high prices for the use of their innovations, or to plainly deny those innovations to others completely by refusing to grant a license. One of the effectual ways to satisfy that motive is to expand the transient monopoly protection provided by patents into other countries and other markets. Patents have given a strong system for encouraging technological growth.
Under capitalism, the promise of future gains incentivise private investment by owners of capital. Theoretically, it is necessary to have a strong patent system in this situation, a patent in India applies for twenty years, and the inventor must disclose all the details of invention in the application. The climate does not have twenty years and we cannot wait until 2038 for new green technologies to become available and affordable worldwide. Therefore, we must be working actively on seeking a new balance amongst the return on investments into research and the exclusionary rights that are provided to encourage that investment.
In its latest report, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ad-hoc Working Group on the Long-term Cooperative Action proposed specific related to intellectual property regulations for the post-Kyoto framework on climate change. The regulations which are proposed by developing countries include patent pooling,excluding green technologies from patenting, royalty-free compulsory licensing of green technologies, and even cancellation of existing patent rights on green technologies (UNFCC 2010). Taking into account the public good character of environmental protection, parallels have also been drawn with the implications for developing countries.
Intellectual property rights have been traditionally the main policy mechanism for encouraging private investments in innovation, including for the production of adaptation and mitigation of technologies.Intellectual property contributes immensely to our national and state economies. Many of the industries across our economy depend on the adequate enforcement of their patents, trademarks, and copyrights, while consumers use Intellectual property to ensure that they are purchasing safe and guaranteed products. We believe that Intellectual property rights are worth protecting, both domestically and abroad. If we consider climate mobilization seriously. It is clear that further research and analysis will be crucial to achieve any effective solutions. A deep study of the various aspects of the transfer of climate related technologies and the interaction between Intellectual property and could provide the basis for more efficient and evidence based debate. The specific information on climate change is most strategic for developing countries, the patent landscape of those sectors and goods, and the manner in which these patents effect the transfer of technology in practice could assist the movement of negotiations towards more specific problems and potential solutions. Climate change and intellectual properties have been key elements of international talks.