Patents and climate change

by: in Law
Climate change

The world faces the growing problem of global warming. This phenomenon leads to unprecedented social effects in human history. Consequently, it is imperative to mitigate this problem. International Organizations and countries are working together in order to better deal with this issue.

WIPO, WTO, UNFCCC and some countries, such as Brazil, have been working with that topic to apply Environmental Agreements in association with the Intellectual Property Rules. That can be an alternative to reverse this scenario and encourage the emergence of new technologies and public policies.

Recently, WIPO, WTO and UNFCCC are working together to apply the rules of IP with the issue related to climate change. In this way, one of the solutions to give effectiveness to the content of the Agreements is to create public policies in both developing and developed countries to promote the goals agreement. 

To this end, WIPO has launched, in 2013, WIPO GREEN, the marketplace targeted to contribute to the approach of green technology and patent owners, globally. Moreover, UNFCCC promotes the concept of Green technologies through the Agenda 21. And WTO regulates the principles of intellectual property trade-related issues, since 1995, with TRIPS Agreement. It is a briefly background of the international scenario.

Following all these statements, Brazil has a historical IP regulation. Despite its policy, as well as the other IP Offices of developing countries, Brazilian IP Office, namely Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial – INPI, has the problem of backlog to grant patents, which delays technologies to be launched on the market. Thus, proceeding all the IP and Environmental Agreements, in 2012, INPI-Brazil launched the Brazilian Green Patents Program, namely "Patentes Verdes", which is a service of accelerated examination in order to diminish the time under procedure.

However, several other issues – supporting international and national discussing levels – surrounds the main topic related to patent and climate change. Also these efforts are generating negative and positive externalities, due to the notably economic difference among the countries part of these Agreements. 

Other issues must be discussed in correlation with trade, intellectual property and environment which are the main topic of the PhD Thesis of Ana Paula Gomes Pinto, developing at INPI-Brazil and Faculty of Law, Maastricht University. In sum, the issues mentioned before are only some main questions related to IP and environment that need to be noticed by the experts in IP law. 

 Published on Law Blogs Maastricht