[p2p-research] copenhagen - green tech and open innovation

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 08:56:36 CET 2009

This just came out:

Strong IPR regimes counterproductive for climate change technology
[image: photo of Michel Bauwens]
Michel Bauwens
22nd November 2009

 SciDev summarizes<http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/clean-technology-and-copenhagen/news/link-between-patent-law-and-tech-transfer-not-proven-.html>the
conclusions from a
new report <http://www.teriin.org/div/Paper_AEI.pdf> undertaken by Asian
research institutes:

*“The notion that climate technology cannot be transferred to a developing
country unless it has strong intellectual property laws — a cherished belief
among developed countries — has been called into question by a new study. *

*Five Asian research institutes collaborated to evaluate the domestic status
and transfer of three key mitigation technologies — clean coal, solar power
and biofuels — to China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.*

*Preliminary results presented in New Delhi last week (21 October) show that
developed countries’ argument that strong patent laws in developing
countries ease technology transfer “does not hold water”, said Amir Hisham
Hashim, of the department of electrical power at Tenaga National University
in Malaysia, a partner in the study.*

*For example, Malaysia has a strong IPR regime, is a member of the World
Trade Organization (WTO) and has signed the Agreement on Trade Related
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), under which members of the WTO agreed
to a minimum standard of IP laws. But the country has benefited little from
the transfer of clean technologies, said Hashim.*

*Indonesia, too, has had a similar experience, said Retno Gumilang Dewi, a
researcher at the Bandung Institute of Technology, another study partner.*

*Lack of transfer could be for practical reasons. The study cites several
instances when technology transfers broke down. A clean coal technology
demonstration project in China was scrapped because Chinese companies failed
to obtain technology due to high costs and patent holders’ reluctance to
transfer the key technologies.*

*Strong IPR regimes could even hinder developing countries’ access to
technology, argued Dewi.*

*If a developing country is able to uphold patent law, patents are often
held by foreign investors or corporations, she said. Monopoly rights held by
such corporations stifle local research by preventing local firms from
adapting technology to local needs, she told the meeting.*

*Although the need for technology transfer has been repeatedly stressed in
various UN climate change documents and negotiations, it has not taken place
at a scale large enough to help stall climate change, observed participants
at the meeting.*

*The bottleneck lies in developed and developing countries’ differing views,
they said. Rich countries focus on regulatory measures while developing
countries prefer collaborations that help them adapt technology to meet
local needs and assist with paying licence fees to use technology.*

*The report recommends that, because TRIPs allows individual countries to
decide when to issue a ‘compulsory licence’ to override a patent on a
product in a national emergency, “it would be worthwhile to have a
declaration recognising climate change as a national emergency and climate
change mitigation as a public good”.*

*Other study partners include the Energy Research Institute (ERI), China;
the Energy Research Institute (TERI), India; and Thailand Environment
Institute (TEI). “*

On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 9:49 PM, Alessandro Delfanti <delfanti at sissa.it>wrote:

> hello everybody,
> I'm collecting material for an article aboutr green tech, patents, climate
> and open innovation i'm writing for Il Manifesto, an italian newspaper. the
> article will become part of a special issue about copenhagen's COP15
> i think one of the most important things to stress is the possibility for
> this issue to bring more deeply into science the clash we're witnessing in
> culture (copyright vs copyleft). let's say that once upon a time we were
> anti-gene patents because evil corporation were stealing wealth and
> traditional knowledge from third world communities. but nowadays to be
> anti-patents means also to be pro-open innovation, something we'll soon need
> if we want the entire world to tackle climate change. people and countries
> have a direct interest as producers and innovators of green technologies.
> and, ca va sans dire, the main patents' pool on green tech is held by the
> Usa and other western countries: definitely, a justice and development
> issue.
> if you have any suggestion about people i should interview or data,
> experiences, stuff i should mention, please let me know
> thank you
> ad
> --
> Alessandro Delfanti
> ICS, Innovations in the Communication of Science
> Sissa, Trieste, Italy
> delfanti at sissa.it
> http://people.sissa.it/~delfanti/ <http://people.sissa.it/%7Edelfanti/>
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