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One of these lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist strategy to How To Get A Patent On An Idea is designed to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow innovators to capture the profits from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this can make it tougher for new and much more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why there are now other approaches being utilized 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 planet in 2014 when he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving out its patents at no cost. It is essential to understand the rationale here. Why would a company which had worked so difficult to build up and protect its technology from the global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away for free?

Tesla initially developed a patent portfolio to guard its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never came to pass. Instead, it saw the electrical car market stagnate at under 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from attempting to prevent others from building electric cars to seeking to encourage them in to the market.

Part of the reasoning here is that if more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This might make electric cars become more visible, and a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen instead of diminish its position by building how big the electric car market, and for that reason, build its own share of the total automotive market.

This type of careful handling of How To Patent An Invention at company level, backed up by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful way to keep the same types 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. 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 to address malnutrition in poor countries.

For such industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and also the innovations that follow will likely be essential. And in knowledge economies, intellectual property may either be an enabler or even an inhibitor.

If the ownership of Innovation is fragmented within an industry, it could decrease technology innovation and uptake, such as within the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead start their innovation processes and move away from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where kxwlfd property can be used to protect and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing which leads to accelerated innovation cycles as well as a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: exactly what Tesla was dreaming about in electric vehicles.

This method to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature inside the software industry and healthcare. It provides given usage of life-saving medicines to thousands of people, particularly in developing countries through patent pools, such as the Medicine Patent Pool. This sort 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 every about open IP.

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