One of these brilliant lies in just how 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 Patent Invention to capture the profits from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also causes it to be more difficult for new and a lot 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, has become doing exactly that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the entire world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving away its patents for free. It is essential to comprehend 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 free of charge?
Tesla initially designed a patent portfolio to safeguard its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it might be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their manufacture of electric cars never came to 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 seeking to encourage them to the market.
Part of the reasoning here is that if more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations is going to be built too. This could make electric cars become more visible, as well as a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that the open intellectual property strategy can strengthen as opposed to diminish its position because they build the size of the electric car market, and consequently, build their own share from the total automotive market.
This kind of careful control over intellectual property at company level, maintained by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful way to support the same forms of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.
Energy supply faces a range of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. Water supply sector 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 Inventhelp Products that follow will likely be essential. As well as in knowledge economies, intellectual property can either be an enabler or perhaps an inhibitor.
If the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented in an industry, it can decelerate technology innovation and uptake, such as inside the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead open their innovation processes and move away from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual property is rtaotl to guard and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated Inventhelp Invention Stories and a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: exactly what Tesla was longing for in electric vehicles.
This approach to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature within the software industry and healthcare. It offers given use of life-saving medicines to millions of people, particularly in developing countries through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This type of project relies upon 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.