Global Perspectives on Patent Law’s Private Ordering Frontier
Edited by Jorge L. Contreras and Meredith Jacob
Chapter 4: Patent pledges in green technology
Technology lies at the centre of the climate change debate and plays a pivotal role in addressing the global challenge of climate change and sustainable development in today’s economy. Access and timely diffusion of green technologies required for adaptation and mitigation are among the major challenges faced by the international community. The role of the patent system has become the subject of increased attention in climate change discussions on technology transfer. The core technology that should be disseminated with the patent is not easily accessible in practice or has little technical value. New mechanisms for collaborative innovation are required to foster the green technology sector. This chapter argues that green patent pledges can provide a new mechanism of collaboration and transferring green technology innovation, which can work within the existing intellectual property legal regime. The chapter examines the various forms of patent pledges related to green technology and their rationales by analysing three main models of green patent pledges: Eco-Patent Commons, GreenXchange and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). The chapter concludes by suggesting a model legal framework for green patent pledges and calls for a global system to share green patents governed by an international body where accession rules are open to third parties based on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
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