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Solar Climate Engineering and Intellectual Property: Toward a Research Commons

110 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2016 Last revised: 26 Jan 2017

Jesse L Reynolds

Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law

Jorge L. Contreras

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Joshua D. Sarnoff

DePaul University College of Law

Date Written: February 29, 2016

Abstract

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges confronting society today. Solar climate engineering (SCE) has the potential to reduce climate risks substantially. This controversial technology would make the earth more reflective in order to counteract global warming. Though the science of SCE is still in its infancy, SCE research and development should proceed in a coordinated, responsible, and expeditious fashion. However, the role of patents, research data, and trade secrets in SCE research remains unclear and contested. To this end, this article identifies concerns that may arise through the acquisition of intellectual property rights in SCE and proposes the formation of an SCE “research commons” to facilitate responsible SCE research and development. This research commons would permit public and private sector research institutions around the globe to share their research data. They would also pledge that any patents or trade secrets they obtain would be managed so as to reduce unnecessary barriers to research and development of safe and effective SCE technologies.

Keywords: climate, climate change, geoengineering, climate engineering, solar climate engineering, SCE, patent, commons

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Jesse L and Contreras, Jorge L. and Sarnoff, Joshua D., Solar Climate Engineering and Intellectual Property: Toward a Research Commons (February 29, 2016). 18 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 1 (2017); University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 163. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2753833

Jesse Reynolds

Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law ( email )

3508 TC Utrecht
Utrecht
Netherlands

Jorge Contreras (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Joshua Sarnoff

DePaul University College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States
312-362-6326 (Phone)

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