Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

Political heavy weights see value in strong clean IP by Justin Blows
June 24, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , ,

The issue of patents and climate change are rapidly rising up the political agenda.

I came across this interesting article written by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.


Mr Sensenbrenner argues very strongly for strong IP protection to protect innovators from from those that would take clean and sustainable technologies – such as clean and renewable energy sources – without any suitable consideration in return.  He believes that:

Now that international climate treaty negotiations are gaining momentum, China is leading the assault on the patent protections that are central in promoting the ingenuity, innovation and creativity that drive the economies of America and other developed countries.

Mr Sensenbrenner also states that China and other developing nations want developed nations to contribute 1% of their GDP to them so that they can buy clean and sustainable technologies at a price that they themselves set.

While the two sides are highly polarised on the issue of IP rights relating to climate change mitigation and adaption technologies, it appears that everyone agrees that patents are a powerful and flexible tool that can be used for the interests of innovators or alternatively the developing nations, depending on the policy framework in which they are used. 

This is a great example of how patents provide a strong legal basis to the problem of technology transfer, no matter what mechanism used.  Without patenting the clean technology in the first place its hard to see how it can be effectively transfered in any senario. 

Let’s hope both sides find a mutually agreeable solution so that we can get on with the real problem of tackling climate change.

Justin Blows


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