One of these lies in the way the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist approach to intellectual property is designed 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 makes it more difficult for new and much 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, continues to be doing that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the entire world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and handing out its patents free of charge. You should understand the rationale here. Why would a business that had worked so desperately to develop and protect its technology from the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially developed Product Ideas its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it would be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their creation of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at lower than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from seeking 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 made, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This could make electric cars be a little more visible, as well as a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen rather than diminish its position by building the dimensions of the electric car market, and consequently, build its own share in the total automotive market.
This type of careful control over 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 Inventhelp Caveman Commercial is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events including 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 as well as address malnutrition in poor countries.
For such industries to navigate a path around these issues, new knowledge and also the innovations that follow will likely be essential. And then in knowledge economies, intellectual property can either be an enabler or perhaps an inhibitor.
In the event the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented within an industry, it can decelerate technology innovation and uptake, such as 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 used to safeguard and prolong lifecycles. This transformation may see knowledge sharing that leads to accelerated innovation cycles and a wksgqs rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives throughout a sector: exactly what Tesla was hoping for in electric vehicles.
This strategy to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature inside the software industry and healthcare. It has given access to life-saving medicines to huge numbers of people, particularly in Patent Companies through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project depends on multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies can also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not all about open IP.