[p2p-research] Dual Licensing of Research in Renewable Energy

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 14 18:09:25 CEST 2009

Hi Allan,

do you have any article where this connection between open source and
patents is explained, perhaps with an example.

This would be very useful for our p2p blog and our
http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Manufacturing section,

Many thanks for considering writing it if it doesn't exist yet as well,


On Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 10:01 PM, Sterling D. Allan <
sterlingda at pureenergysystems.com> wrote:

>  Hi,
> In open sourcing a key technology, the original concept is open to the
> world, but improvements made by individual companies can be patented, which
> then gives them the usual advantages in taking it to the market.
> Any key concept will need improvements before it can be made commercially.
> Sterling
>  ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Austin <brentley at gmail.com>
> *To:* Sepp Hasslberger <sepp at lastrega.com>
> *Cc:* Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> ; Peer-To-Peer Research
> List <p2presearch at listcultures.org> ; Open Manufacturing<openmanufacturing at googlegroups.com>; Samuel
> Rose <samuel.rose at gmail.com> ; Sterling D. Allan<sterlingda at pureenergysystems.com>; Paul
> B. Hartzog <paulbhartzog at gmail.com> ; Richard Adler<the.croupier at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Friday, August 14, 2009 3:42 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Dual Licensing of Research in Renewable Energy
>  Hello P2P Community,
> It's been several weeks since I last checked in.  I've been working on the
> first half of the paper, gather information on the background of the energy
> crisis, my objectives for writing this paper, and the literature review.  I
> just thought that I would send out an update...and potentially glean more
> information before moving forward with the actual data and analysis.
> I've made some revisions to the business model.  In writing my literature
> review, I focused on 3 different areas of research (open innovation, open
> source, and stakeholder theory).  Here is a condensed break-down of the
> paper:
> The energy crisis will likely be resolved using a variety of approaches
> (subsidies, legislation, activism, etc) of which my paper touches on one:
> innovation.  I define innovation as the creation and commercialization of
> new ideas and inventions.  In effect, Inventors and Entrepreneurs co-exist
> to make successful solar panels, hydrogen cars, wind turbines, and countless
> other technologies/products we haven't even explored yet.
> For Entrepreneurs, open innovation (OI) is one of the best ways to
> commercialize new ideas.  By sourcing and licensing R&D outside of their
> walls, they can benefit from new idea and insights.  Innocentive is a prime
> example.  When these ideas are abundant, easy to search, easy to license,
> and easy to incorporate, open innovation flourishes.
> For Inventors, open source (or peer-to-peer production, or a knowledge
> economy, or a scientific commons) is one of the best ways to create new
> inventions and ideas.  Whereas open innovation is cooperative, open source
> is collaborative.  There are many reasons to champion OS (including the
> ethics of "free" and "public"), but the emphasis on this paper is on OS'
> ability to speed invention….in essence, I stress the instrumental benefits
> rather than the normative ones.
> While open innovation requires ownership, OS typically typically avoids the
> privatization of publicly created products, making the two systems
> incompatible on the surface.  However, bringing the production styles
> together can be accomplished using dual-licensing.  In essence, the OS
> community will allow private firms to use publicly available information for
> commercial purposes IF these firms pay money back into the system via
> royalties.  These royalties will help fuel future research in renewable
> energy.
> Open Innovation and Open Source are set against stakeholder theory
> (instrumental stakeholder theory) in which firms are more successful when
> they balance the disparate needs of individual stakeholders.  However, at
> its core, stakeholder theory places "shareholders" above all other
> stakeholders since the ultimate goal of almost every firm is profit.  The
> needs of employees, suppliers, governments, etc are all means to an end.  My
> paper argues for a different approach.  Rather than start with a firm that
> assesses and prioritizes stakeholders, why not have stakeholders come
> together and design a firm (or a system) that meets their needs.  In other
> words, let's not start under the assumption that the firm (and thus the
> investors) already exist…instead, let's work backwards…so as to ensure that
> the system/firm's mandate comes from innovation-driven stakeholders rather
> than from profit-seeking shareholders….essentially a non-profit company.
> This however presents one major challenge.  In the absence of investors,
> how does the community of OS scientists and researchers cover the costs of
> expensive R&D.  Some of this R&D can be broken up into modular form, making
> it more affordable.  We have already seen this in many aspects of open
> manufacturing and open design.  Other areas, however, are potentially too
> expensive for any individual to afford.  Dual license payments can help keep
> the firm (or system) afloat once the project has already started, but how
> does the project actually get off the ground in the first place?  Would
> donations work..and if so, how?  Is there a way to do this without
> government assistance?
> In any event, here is a slightly revised business model for a fictional
> company called Green R&D:
>    1. Green R&D is non-profit company whose sole purpose is to assist with
>    innovation.  In addition to keeping a stable of paid scientists and
>    researchers, Green R&D also oversees financing, budgeting, patent
>    applications, and litigation.  It essentially pays for the more expensive
>    aspects of Renewable Energy research that freelance scientists might not be
>    able to afford if they worked in more open source-style collaboration.  It
>    also assists with long-term planning, suppliers, contracts, etc.
>       1. All prototypes and research are placed under a GPL-style license.
>     1. The initial financing for Green R&D is still unknown.
>    2. Green R&D opens it findings to the public for contributions, thus
>    benefiting from peer-to-peer production and input.  Scientists, researchers,
>    and laypeople around the world collaborate, adding to the growing pool of
>    research.  Whenever technically feasible, new improvements and discoveries
>    are placed under the same GPL-style license.
>    3. Private firms may use this public information for its own purposes,
>    but in doing so, it must pay a royalty.
>       1. The royalty would have to be carefully determined to minimize
>       cheating while maximizing payments.
>    4. A volunteer watch group ensures compliance between privatized
>    products and royalty payments.
>     1. I'm still working on the incentive structure for this watch group,
>       although http://www.peertopatent.org/ offers some useful insights on
>       how this might work.
>       2. I'm also still working on a way to properly measure royalty
>       payments.
> Royalty payments go back to the Green R&D solely for the purpose of future
> research.  There are no "profits" per se.  Green R&D exists only to make
> renewable energy financing possible.  The entire system is more of an
> innovation machine than it is a "business model."  It helps brings Inventors
> and Entrepreneurs together if and when the former lacks sufficient capital
> to get started.
> In addition to financing, there is one final area that I have yet to
> resolve.  Does anyone know of an existing community of freelance researchers
> and scientists who already work in the renewable energy sector?  For some of
> my primary research, I need to talk to those who might potentially be
> involved with the above business model.  I've already spoken with energy
> scientists from corporate firms and with P2P experts, but finding those in
> the middle (i.e. P2P energy scientists) has been difficult.
> Anyway, hope all is well.  Thanks again for all the previous assistance you
> offered...and thanks in advance for any additional insights you might be
> able to provide.
> Take care P2P folks,
> -Austin

Work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhurakij_Pundit_University - Research:
http://www.dpu.ac.th/dpuic/info/Research.html - Think thank:

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