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

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 08:57:52 CET 2009

and this:

Needlessly expensive patent funding may derail climage change
[image: photo of Michel Bauwens]
Michel Bauwens
15th November 2009

 Europe’s institutions seem to have pledged support for green IPR
protection. Even environmental groups seem to agree money paid to big
business in licenses — even if these are questionable — could be crucial in
pushing toward a climate deal in December.

Western governments are ready to shackle innovation through the promotion of
useless patents and channelling important funds to private industry, reported
Der Spiegel<http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,628606,00.html>,
featuring the work of David E. Martin, ” claims many of the patents for
today’s low-carbon technologies — including some used in wind power and
hybrid cars — are already in the public domain.”

Excerpts from an article by *Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck*:

*“One of the nagging issues in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit
are demands that the US and Europe provide massive aid so poorer countries
can buy expensive emissions-free technologies. Activist David E. Martin
claims many of the patents for today’s low-carbon technologies — including
some used in wind power and hybrid cars — are already in the public domain.*

*When the host of a party predicts a flop, it rarely inspires much
confidence in a good bash. With just over a month to go before international
climate talks start in Copenhagen the Danish government has done exactly
that: Don’t hold your breath, it said, it’s unlikely there will be a binding
global deal. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso had even
stronger words earlier this week: “Of course we are not going to have a
full-fledged binding treaty, Kyoto-type, by Copenhagen. There is not time
for that.”*

*Money is threatening the fight against climate change. Climate experts have
priced emissions-cutting technologies needed by developing countries at €100
billion ($149 billion) a year starting in 2020, and they want to see about
half of that investment burden shouldered by public funding from the United
States, the European Union and Japan. The world’s poorest countries warn
that without a solid promise of funds, they will walk out of the Copenhagen
summit. But €50 billion is more than the loose change European states,
Washington and Tokyo are willing to dole out — particularly after bailing
out their banks. European leaders meeting in Brussels last week shirked
concrete commitments, saying only they would contribute their “fair share”
to upfront climate financing.
David E. Martin is travelling the globe to prove negotiators wrong about the
cost of battling climate change.”*


*“Negotiators still largely hold on to the sense that patent licenses are
fundamental to encouraging green innovation. To avoid hostile debate,
climate negotiators hope to use part of the €50 billion for payments to
patent holders, even if their patents may be redundant.*

*There is no official number or estimate on how much such pay-offs might be
worth. Patent licenses are just one way for companies to generate wealth
from green innovation. But the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
estimates green patents will boom if a global deal is sealed. That boom
would be worth billions of dollars, particularly if corporations raise their
license fees to profit even more from the new wave of public spending. The
UNFCCC predicts the biggest boon will go to those countries that are best
and quickest at filing patents, namely European states, the US and Japan —
in other words, precisely those countries looking for a way to back out of
financing developing countries’ climate technology.*

*“The money to be saved in this (through cutting back on license payments)
is potentially massive,” Sanjeev Kumar, an emissions trading expert at green
activist group WWF, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.*

*“But what government is going to start? Is the US, is Europe brave enough
to cut the royalty chains of large technology companies? This is a principle
that is morally right but the politics aren’t there yet,” he said. “*


*“As if to reassure industry, European environment ministers signed a
document on Oct. 21 virtually guaranteeing this would not happen. The
document — to be used as a basis of negotiations in Copenhagen — stressed
“the necessity of protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights
(IPRs) for promoting technological innovation and incentivising investments
from the private sector.”*

*Commentary:* the article cites different experts who expect that such use
of patents will severaly hamper technological progress. It undermines my own
expectation that aspects of openness and participation, but especially
shared designs for techno-environmental progress, will be an essential part
of a new potential growth phase centered around green capitalism. It shows
that this objective necessity is derailed by political forces that buy lock
and stock into the neoliberal mythologies, and are still very much in power
despite their responssiblity for the massive meltdown.

*More Information:* David Martin’s World Bank database, the Global
Innovation Commons, keeps track
<http://www.globalinnovationcommons.org/>“of gadgets whose lapsed
patents in advanced energy, water and agricultural
technologies represent potential license savings worth, according to the
World Bank, more than $2 trillion.”

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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