As climate change and the energy transition drive fundamental shifts in technology, industry, investment and regulatory policy, innovation and technology have never played a more important role. In this article, we discuss how climate change and the energy transition are driving these shifts, the technologies needed to meet net-zero and how this is reflected by patent filings in renewable energy field. We gather the perspectives of leaders and decision makers in the fields of energy, technology, business and government, presenting at the recent CERAWeek 2021 conference.
Insights: Innovation Protection Strategy
Patents are, of necessity, filed at an early stage in the development of new technology, which means that patent filing trends can provide good insights today’s R&D and tomorrow’s leading technologies.Climate change targets are a major driver of innovation in today’s world. There is little doubt that innovative solutions are needed across the board if we are to achieve net-zero by 2050, and limit the rise in average global temperate to below 2C, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force in November 2016, with a goal of limiting global warming to below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius – compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), CO2 emissions from aviation in 2019 equated to around 2.8% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. So, it’s probably no great surprise that there has been much research in recent years on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector.
Last year, we reviewed a United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) report on sectors of the economy which make the most intensive use of intellectual property (IP) rights, and how much these sectors contribute to the UK economy. This week, the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office have jointly published a report on the commercial benefit of owning IP rights to European companies
Wearable technology has become increasingly prevalent in recent times – almost a third of UK consumers now own a fitness band or smartwatch – with adoption of these devices expected to continue to increase in the coming years. This blog take a look at three companies in the wearables industry – Garmin, Suunto, and Fitbit – their patent portfolios, and some of the IP-related challenges they have to face to ensure their products get protected.
As awareness of the devastating consequences of climate change grows, technology that harnesses renewable energy has seen significant investment in recent years. Wind energy is no exception. With increased investment, there comes a need for protection by way of patents. Patents are typically filed at an early stage of development, due to the requirement for the technology they cover to be new and inventive. This in turn means that patent filing statistics can provide a good insight into where R&D is being carried out, and into potential future technologies. In this article we ask, what areas are the core technologies where patent filings are being made, where are these filings being made, and who is filing them?
Truly global patent specifications are the holy grail for applicants that file around the world. It’s easy to see why. If a specification meets the requirements of all the national patent offices in which protection is going to be sought the application will easier to prosecute and litigate locally and therefore cheaper overall.
A patent provides an exclusive right, for a limited period of time, that can be used to prevent others from making, using, importing, or selling products and/or carrying out processes covered by the patent. This is all well and good for a multinational corporation that has the means to police their patents and sue infringers, but where is the value for smaller innovative companies, such as startups or SMEs, which are unlikely to have the resources to do that? Obtaining patent protection can be expensive and uncertain, so what’s the point?