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How to promote green technologies

Industrialised countries should consider providing incentives to promote technology transfer with developing countries, according to a report published by AIPPI’s Standing Committee on “Intellectual Property and Green Technology”

Bertram Huber, Chair of the Committee, said the Committee started working on the climate change issue in early 2011, and began with a broad remit: “Where do we stand? What is available? Is the IP system structured properly?”

The report, presented at yesterday’s ExCo, finds that “fundamental changes in IP architecture and laws” are not needed to support climate change technologies. Huber told the Congress News it would be “close to impossible” to expect patent offices to make ethical decisions about green technologies.

Instead, the report proposes “a more creative and vigorous implementation of IP systems and related innovation infrastructure”, especially in developing countries. This includes IP asset development, strengthened education and innovation ecosystems, promotion of licensing and collaboration; incentives for industrialised country parties to participate in licensing with those in developing countries, better IP training programmes and use of patent information to facilitate dissemination of technical knowledge.

The latter includes the EPO’s classifications Y02 and Y04, and WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE, which the Committee says should be promoted. It would also like to see efforts to complete the scope of patent information digitally available, including from smaller IP offices.

The report supports the new WIPO GREEN programme to further voluntary licensing of green technology packages, and says its effectiveness should be ­evaluated.

“There is a preparedness from western companies to grant licences on preferential conditions to parties in developing countries, but the statistics show there is not much technology transfer and it is not happening efficiently,” said Huber. One reason is that infrastructure needs to be improved in recipient countries, but another is that incentives to encourage technology transfer are not sufficiently used.

He added that promoting technology transfer is a win-win: “The positive side effects include developing an innovation infrastructure in recipient countries, and developing new economies and markets.”

The Committee met yesterday afternoon to discuss further work, including whether a Working Question on green technologies should be proposed for a future Congress.

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