One of these lies in 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 innovators to capture the earnings from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also causes it to be harder for new and more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why now there are 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 planet in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving out its patents for free. You should comprehend the rationale here. Why would an organization who had worked so hard to build up and protect its technology from its global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away free of charge?
Tesla initially developed How To Patent An Invention its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it might be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their manufacture of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at less than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from attempting to prevent others from building electric cars to trying to encourage them in to the market.
Part of the reasoning here is that if more electric cars are designed, then more battery recharging stations will likely be built too. This would make electric cars become more visible, as well as a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen instead of diminish its position because they build the size of the electric car market, and consequently, build their own share from the total automotive market.
This sort of careful management of intellectual property at company level, supported by policy-level awareness, can be quite a powerful method to secure 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. The Idea Patent is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events such as 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 these industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and the innovations that follow is going to be essential. And in knowledge economies, intellectual property may either be an enabler or perhaps an inhibitor.
If the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented inside an industry, it could decrease technology innovation and uptake, like in 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 property is utilized to safeguard and prolong lifecycles. This modification may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated innovation cycles and a wksgqs rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: precisely what Tesla was dreaming about in electric vehicles.
This approach to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature within the software industry and healthcare. It has given access to life-saving medicines to millions of people, particularly in Inventhelp Wiki through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This type 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 every about open IP.