Innovation Asset Blog

IP issues at the heart of green technology debate

With climate change experts around the world calling for faster production of eco-friendly innovations, some have suggested that intellectual property debates may be inhibiting the distribution of clean technologies to developing nations.

According to ABC News Australia, a number of environmentalists are looking to United Nations officials to weigh in on IP controversies during an upcoming climate conference. One such advocate is Australia Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture attorney Matthew Rimmer.

"Failing to deal with IP will result in a host of barriers being placed in front of efforts to diffuse and disseminate clean technologies widely, particularly to those countries who need them," Rimmer told ABC. "[There must be] incentives to private entities in order to disseminate technologies, and if that's not working properly, you recalibrate the system."

In some cases, rights holders have blocked access to their technologies to create market scarcity and drive up prices, according to Rimmer. Frustrated by these avaricious practices, a number of developing countries have advocated for the waiver of IP rights to clean technology.

India may be a key player in this week's talks, according to the Economic Times. The country represents a massive market for clean technology, but delegates have emphasized the importance of equitable agreements that benefit the developing country while still rewarding patent holders for their essential innovations.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.