Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

SunPower forces license on SunLink: Patent infringed by Justin Blows
October 11, 2009, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , ,

According to this report,  Solar company SunPower has successfully used one of its patents to force SunLink to take a licence for its patented light weight rooftop mounting system.

Facing court action, SunLink acknowledged infringement and presumably settled to the financial and commercial advantage of SunPower.

SunPower presumably now has an extra revenue stream through their patents and license.  Now, profits from products produced and sold by SunLink may very well flow through to SunPower.

Its very likely that the use of patents by the solar industry will increase with its maturity.

Justin Blows


A123 in patent dispute by Justin Blows
September 29, 2009, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , ,

Bloomberg is reporting that A123 Systems Inc., a maker of lithium batteries for plug-in cars that first sold stock today, is in talks to end a patent dispute with the University of Texas and Hydro-Quebec over technology underlying its products.

Justin Blows

Patent-based technology analysis report by Justin Blows
September 14, 2009, 8:35 am
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , ,

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released the Alternative Energy Technology report, based on patent data.

The report investigates patent filing trends for various alternative technologies across the globe.  Changes in the price of oil and increasing awareness of the issue of climate change can be considered factors in driving patenting activity, which is generally increasing.

The distribution of applications among different areas of technology appears to be related strongly to the countries’ geographic and resource situation as well as the distribution of research and development budgets and supporting policies.


Japan has focussed strongly on solar, hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

The US has focused on bio energy, geothermal, hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

Germany has focused on wind and solar technologies

Korea has focused on wind power and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

China has focused on solar energy and hydropower technologies.

Justin Blows

US enthusiastic about hybrid cars by Justin Blows
September 9, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

According to this report, around 48 percent of American consumers asked said they would be extremely or very interested in buying a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), according to a new Pike Research survey.

Justin Blows


Copenhagen 2009: The IP debate by Justin Blows

I found this article that discusses the 5 contentious issues, including  Technology transfer and Intellectual Property (IP) rights,  that may be barriers in global climate change negotiations.   The passages on IP follow:

Notwithstanding other options such as lifestyle changes, technology is considered by most to be at the heart of a longterm solution to climate change. The IPCC notes that without substantial investment flows on low-emission technologies and effective technology transfer it may be difficult to achieve emission reduction ‘at a significant scale’ (IPCC 2007b). The main issues on the table are technology financing, what kind of non-finance instruments can be used to promote technology transfer, including intellectual property rights (IPRs), and institutional arrangements. How to translate technology transfer commitments into something other than financial support is a significant tripping point, and last minute surprises are possible in Copenhagen (as the CDM was in Kyoto). However, thus far, discussions center mostly on whether and how to modify the IPR regime to optimize development and transfer of climate technologies. Proposals, mainly from developing countries, include relaxation of IPRs, compulsory licensing, patent pooling, exemptions, and incentives for patent holders to transfer patents to developing countries. Developed countries generally support maintaining the current IPR regime. Institutional arrangements for technology transfer also promise to be a central area of debate on the road to Copenhagen. The main tripping points here will likely be the rank and mandate of the technology ‘body’, with proposals ranging from a new UNFCCC subsidiary body on technology, as proposed by developing countries, tomaintaining the current Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) as an advisory body to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Of particular contention is whether the technology body oversees the technology fund (if one is agreed upon), regulates technology credit markets (if a market approach is agreed), and/or assesses the MRV technology commitments by developed countries. At present, all options remain on the table.

Justin Blows

Methane calthrate, anyone? by Justin Blows

There was an article on methane calthrate – ice containing methane – in a new scientist article a couple of months ago.

burning ice

Apparently there are vast reserves of this fossil fuel and it could be a significant component of the energy mix in the future.

There is concern that rising temperatures from global warming will release much of the methane locked up in the ice crystals – a so called tipping point for climate change. Given this, it is hard to know whether it is in the global interest to burn this fossil fuel – is it adding to global warming or is the methane just going to leak away and be an even more potent green house gas?

I guess it depends on the particular reserve being considered and whether it will be affected by global warming.

I wonder what technology is available to extract this resource? It is obviously a different challenge then oil / coal extraction. There may be a lot of innovation required and new machines and methods for extraction. This presents a great opportunity for innovators in this area – if an innovator invents the means to commercially extract this resource, and patent it, the innovator could gain a significant advantage in controlling the extraction of the resource and thus the commercial outcomes from extraction.

Justin Blows

Hopes high for Australian Renewable energy bill by Justin Blows

I found this article which talks about who will benefit from the Renewable Energy Bill.

Justin Blows