One of these lies in the way the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and concepts. A protectionist approach to intellectual property was created to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow 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 tougher 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 become doing exactly that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the planet in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving away its patents free of charge. It is essential to understand the rationale here. Why would a company that had worked so difficult to build up and protect its technology from its global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially developed How Do I Get A Patent its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never got to 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 when more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations is going to be built too. This might make electric cars become more visible, along with a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen instead of diminish its position by building the dimensions of the electric car market, and consequently, build its very own share from the total automotive market.
This type of careful handling of intellectual property at company level, maintained by policy-level awareness, could be a powerful method to support the same types 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 New Invention is restricted by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events including flooding and costs 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 as well as address malnutrition in poor countries.
For such industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and also the innovations that follow will likely be essential. And in knowledge economies, intellectual property may either be an enabler or an inhibitor.
When the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented within an industry, it may decrease technology innovation and uptake, like inside 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 can be used to protect and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing that leads to accelerated innovation cycles as well as a wksgqs rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: just what Tesla was hoping for in electric vehicles.
This approach to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature within the software industry and healthcare. It provides given use of life-saving medicines to huge numbers of people, specifically in Invent Help Ideas through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project depends on multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies may also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s its not all about open IP.