One of these lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist approach to intellectual property was created to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow innovators to capture the earnings off their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also can make it more difficult for new and 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 world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving out its patents at no cost. It is important to be aware of the rationale here. Why would a business who had worked so hard to build up and protect its technology looking at the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially developed Technology to protect its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it might be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never came to pass. Instead, it saw the electrical car market stagnate at less than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from trying to prevent others from building electric cars to trying to encourage them to the market.
Part of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations will likely be built too. This could make electric cars become a little more visible, and a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that the open intellectual property strategy can strengthen instead of diminish its position by building the dimensions of the electric car market, and consequently, build its own share from the total automotive market.
This sort of careful control over intellectual property at company level, backed up by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful way to support the same forms of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.
Energy supply faces a range of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. Water supply sector is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events like flooding and expenses associated with supplying water to communities in poor countries and remote communities. The agri-food sector, meanwhile, is under pressure to sustainably produce more food and to address malnutrition in poor countries.
For such industries to navigate a path around these issues, new knowledge and also the Make My Invention Prototype that follow is going to be essential. As well as in knowledge economies, intellectual property can either be an enabler or perhaps an inhibitor.
In the event the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented inside an industry, it may decelerate technology innovation and uptake, like inside the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead start their innovation processes and depart from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual dppdwz can be used to protect and prolong lifecycles. This modification may see knowledge sharing which leads to accelerated innovation cycles as well as a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: exactly what Tesla was hoping for in electric vehicles.
This strategy to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature in the software industry and healthcare. It offers given use of life-saving medicines to millions of people, specifically in How To Patent An Idea through patent pools, such as the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project relies 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 all about open IP.