Intellectual Property and Climate Change: Inventing Clean Technologies

Cheltenham and Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar, September 2011

Posted: 6 Jul 2011 Last revised: 1 Jun 2018

See all articles by Matthew Rimmer

Matthew Rimmer

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Date Written: July 4, 2011


In the wake of the international summits in Copenhagen and Cancun, there is an urgent need to consider the role of intellectual property law in encouraging research, development, and diffusion of clean technologies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. This book charts the patent landscapes and legal conflicts emerging in a range of fields of innovation – including renewable forms of energy, such as solar power, wind power, and geothermal energy; as well as biofuels, green chemistry, green vehicles, energy efficiency, and smart grids.

As well as reviewing key international treaties, this book provides a detailed analysis of current trends in patent policy and administration in key nation states, and offers clear recommendations for law reform. It considers such options as technology transfer, compulsory licensing, public sector licensing, and patent pools; and analyzes the development of Climate Innovation Centres, the Eco-Patent Commons, and environmental prizes, such as the L-Prize, the H-Prize, and the X-Prizes. This book will have particular appeal to policy-makers given its focus upon recent legislative developments and reform proposals, as well as legal practitioners by developing a better understanding of recent legal, scientific, and business developments, and how they affect their practice. Innovators, scientists and researchers will also benefit from reading this book.

Contents: Preface Introduction: The Wizards of Menlo Park: Thomas Edison, General Electric Inc. and Ecomagination Part I: International Law 1. The Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements: Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and Climate Change 2. The TRIPS Agreement: Intellectual Property, Climate Change, and Disaster Capitalism 3. Energy Poverty: The World Intellectual Property Organization and The Development Agenda Part II: Patent Law 4. The Clean Technology Revolution: Patent Log-Jams and Fast-Tracks 5. The Toyota Prius: Hybrid Cars, and Patent Trolls 6. 'Clean Energy for America, Power Up America': Patent Law and Compulsory Licensing Part III: Innovation 7. Climate Innovation Centres: Patent Law and Public Sector Licensing 8. The Eco-Patent Commons: Patent Pools, Clearing-Houses, and Open Innovation 9. Environmental Prizes: The H-Prize, the L-Prize, and the X-Prize Conclusion: Intellectual Property and Climate Law Bibliography Index

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Climate Change, Energy, The Environment, International Law, Patent Law, Innovation, Copenhagen Accord, Cancun Agreements, TRIPS Agreement, WIPO, Patent Administration, Patent Litigation, Compulsory Licensing, Climate Innovation Centres, Commons, Prizes

Suggested Citation

Rimmer, Matthew, Intellectual Property and Climate Change: Inventing Clean Technologies (July 4, 2011). Cheltenham and Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar, September 2011 , Available at SSRN:

Matthew Rimmer (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4000

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