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One of these brilliant lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and concepts. A protectionist approach to intellectual property is designed to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and enable Patent Invention to capture the profits from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also makes it harder for new and a lot more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why there are now other approaches being used to move key sectors to more sustainable systems and end this status quo.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla, has been doing just that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the entire world in 2014 when he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving away its patents free of charge. You should comprehend the rationale here. Why would a company who had worked so difficult to develop and protect its technology from the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away for free?

Tesla initially developed a patent portfolio to protect its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at under 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from trying to prevent others from building electric cars to seeking to encourage them into the market.

Portion of the reasoning here is that if more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This could make electric cars become a little more visible, and a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen as opposed to diminish its position because they build how big the electrical car market, and as a result, build its very own share of the total automotive market.

This type of careful control over intellectual property at company level, maintained by policy-level awareness, can be quite a powerful approach to keep the same kinds of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.

Energy supply faces an array of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. This type of water supply sector is restricted by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events like flooding and expenses related to supplying water to communities in poor countries and remote communities. The agri-food sector, meanwhile, is under pressure to sustainably produce more food as well as address malnutrition in poor countries.

For these particular industries to navigate a path around these complications, new knowledge and the How To Patent that follow is going to be essential. And in knowledge economies, intellectual property either can be an enabler or perhaps an inhibitor.

In the event the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented in an industry, it may decelerate technology innovation and uptake, including within the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead open their innovation processes and depart from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual property is rtaotl to guard and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated How To Patent Ideas along with a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: exactly what Tesla was hoping for in electric vehicles.

This method to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature within the software industry and healthcare. It has given usage of life-saving medicines to millions of people, especially in developing countries through patent pools, such as the Medicine Patent Pool. This sort of project depends on multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies could also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not every about open IP.