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Copenhagen must explore IP laws

Copenhagen must explore IP laws

Intellectual property law must be addressed in any agreement to emerge from the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in order to bolster clean technology innovation, a leading IP academic said…

Intellectual property law must be addressed in any agreement to emerge from the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in order to bolster clean technology innovation, a leading IP academic said today.

Dr Matthew Rimmer, IP expert and senior lecturer at the Australian National University's college of law, believes that international reform of IP law will be necessary in order to encourage clean technology development and better address climate change concerns.

He said that IP will especially play a role in determining just who owns, benefits from, and has access to clean technologies, and added that the current IP approach is not adequate because it provides incentives for polluting.

"The decision [should an agreement emerge from Copenhagen] should provide workable mechanisms for access to clean technologies," said Rimmer in the ANU statement released today. "Including technology transfer, compulsory licensing, patent pools, sharing of publicly funded technology and even exclusions of intellectual property rights for those countries worst affected by climate change."

Rimmer added that the protection of IP rights will disrupt the development and transfer of clean technologies, and noted that the recent patent litigation over the Toyota Prius proves that all business can be affected by IP protections.

"The Copenhagen discussions should not be a bonanza for intellectual property owners," he said.

Check back with Lawyers Weekly for more on this story.

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