One of these lies in how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist approach to intellectual property is made to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow innovators to capture the earnings off 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 more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why now there are other approaches being utilized to move key sectors to more sustainable systems and end this status quo.
Electric car manufacturer Tesla, continues to be doing exactly that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving out its patents for free. It is essential to understand the rationale here. Why would a company who had worked so hard to develop and protect its technology from the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially developed How To Patent Ideas to guard its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their manufacture of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electrical 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 seeking to encourage them into the market.
Portion of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are built, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This could make electric cars become more visible, as well as a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen as opposed to diminish its position by building the size of the electrical car market, and consequently, build its very own share of the total automotive market.
This sort of careful control over intellectual property at company level, supported by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful approach to secure the same kinds of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.
Energy supply faces a multitude of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. The water supply sector is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events such as flooding and costs 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 and also to address malnutrition in poor countries.
For these particular industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and also the Inventhelp Commercials that follow will likely be essential. And then in knowledge economies, intellectual property either can be an enabler or even an inhibitor.
When the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented in an industry, it could slow down technology innovation and uptake, such as in the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead open their innovation processes and depart from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual dppdwz can be used to guard and prolong lifecycles. This transformation may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated innovation cycles along with a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: precisely what Tesla was longing for in electric vehicles.
This approach to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature inside the software industry and healthcare. It has given use of life-saving medicines to thousands of people, especially in Mom Inventors through patent pools, including the Medicine Patent Pool. This type of project relies on multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies could also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not all about open IP.