Green IP Strategy – risks and opportunities

Further to my recent article ‘It’s Getting Hotter – Climate Change and IP Strategy“, Joff Wild over at IAM-Magazine had a great post recently about how developers of environmentally-friendly technology must get their IP Strategy right to avoid loud and serious criticism. (In essence, Joff comments that if they choose a strategy which locks up the technology to a restricted few, then, due to the global nature of the problem, they will come in for very serious criticism.)

Joff, as usual has some great points.

Some of the other IP risks for such companies (in keeping with Joff’s anology with pharmaceuticals, lets call them Green Innovators), would include:

1. Compulsory licenses;

2. Compulsory acquisition by the government of one or more countries;

3. Massive, global litigation amongst themselves, or from Green generics (ie those wishing to copy the technology);

4. Freedom to operate grid lock (unlike pharmaceuticals, it is quite unlikely that a single company will own all of the intellectual property required to get the new product or service to market);

5. Governments changing the fundamental playing rules (as in recent proposals by the European parliament);

5. etc.

Joff’s post seems to point towards an open licensing policy (ie to anyone who will pay the licensing fees / royalties), but there seem to be other ways this could work as well. What do you think?

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