One of these brilliant lies in 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 Patenting An Idea to capture the earnings from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also causes it to be tougher 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, has become 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 away its patents at no cost. You should comprehend the rationale here. Why would an organization that had worked so desperately to build up and protect its technology looking at the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially created a patent portfolio to safeguard its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it might be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never got to pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at lower than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from trying to prevent others from building electric cars to attempting to encourage them into the market.
Area of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are designed, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This could make electric cars become more visible, and a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen as opposed to diminish its position by building how big the electric car market, and as a result, build their own share from the total automotive market.
This sort of careful handling of intellectual property at company level, backed up by policy-level awareness, could be a powerful approach to secure the same forms 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. This type of water supply sector is restricted 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 and to address malnutrition in poor countries.
For these industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and the Inventors Help that follow will likely be essential. And then in knowledge economies, intellectual property either can be an enabler or even an inhibitor.
If 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 up their innovation processes and move away from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual property is rtaotl to protect and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated Inventhelp Inventor Stories and a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives throughout a sector: just what Tesla was dreaming about in electric vehicles.
This strategy to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature inside the software industry and healthcare. It provides given access to life-saving medicines to thousands of people, specifically in developing countries through patent pools, such as the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project relies on multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies may also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not all about open IP.