Intellectual Property Enforcement and Global Climate Change
RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND CLIMATE CHANGE, Joshua D. Sarnoff, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 107-125, 2016
18 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013 Last revised: 3 Nov 2016
Date Written: April 17, 2013
Issues lying at the intersection of intellectual property and climate change are hot. From the ongoing discussions under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Conference on Innovation and Climate Change held by the World Intellectual Property Organization, countries have actively explored ways to harness the intellectual property system to combat climate change and to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases.
Notwithstanding these high profile events, intellectual property enforcement issues are rarely discussed in these fora. It would indeed be premature to discuss those issues when we still have no idea what types of international instruments will be developed to address the problems posed by climate change and what types of obligations these instruments will introduce. Nevertheless, if these instruments are to facilitate the development of meaningful policy responses, it is important that the rights they recognize be enforceable.
This chapter focuses on enforcement issues lying at the intersection of intellectual property and climate change. It begins by outlining three different types of enforcement issues. The chapter then explains five different challenges that militate against the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights. It further explores the difficulty in identifying enforcement challenges in the area of intellectual property and climate change. The chapter concludes by discussing the various types of enforcement disputes that may arise in international instruments governing the area.
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