Can the application of Patent's develop ‘Green’ technology? | Hudson McKenzie

Can the application of Patent’s develop ‘Green’ technology?

We’ve gone too far. With climate change and global warming taking over the latest news headlines quicker than the planet (thankfully), it’s time the world stops with its internal politics and looks at the bigger picture – but how?

On a daily basis, nations are developing innovative ways to combat the ongoing global crisis evident in rising sea levels, increased air pollution and various other vast warning signs of the Earth heating up to a rate that would make it completely uninhabitable by any species of life whatsoever. As a solution, the development of ‘Green’ technologies is becoming a fundamental process of every nation to embark upon, as a means of preserving and protecting citizens upon a national and simultaneously, global scale.

However, will the law as we know it, specifically Intellectual Property law, become a deterrent to this? For instance, is the application of Patent’s upon the invention and development of ‘Green’ technologies acting as a detrimental barrier to the overall preservation of our planet?

Why do we need ‘Green’ Technologies?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of the United Nations, recently stated that “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal”. In which is backed up by the evidence provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which demonstrated that the most recent findings regarding climate change is a “result of human activity since the mid-20th century” and is likely to increase, unless action is taken to prevent these catastrophic events from increasing in the foreseeable future.

In response to these facts, nations on a global scale are increasingly coming together so to collectively tackle the ongoing global crisis, in which the development of ‘Green’ technologies is a part of this initiative. This is because ‘Green’ technology is a means of reversing the negative effects that human activity has and is having upon the environment by developing solutions that could ultimately reduce fundamental causes of global catastrophe, such as reducing Greenhouse gases and implementing ‘Cleaner’ technology.

By doing so, the development of ‘Green’ technology becomes a compulsive field of knowledge to be acted upon, specifically for the sake of protecting all forms of life upon Earth. Therefore, upon this basis, ‘Green’ technology development may be the only solution that the world has left to save humanity and bio-species from extinction, which is why law, such as the application of Patent’s upon ‘Green’ technology development, may play a fundamental role to its development.

Why is the application of Patent law to ‘Green’ technology development important?

It is inevitable that technology cannot be exposed publicly without it being applied to the law of the nation that it is being exposed to. Being so, the application of Patent’s to ‘Green’ technology could alternatively increase the motivation to invent, by providing protective measures as a form of regulation. By having protective measures, this also means that investors are more likely to want to invest in ‘Green’ technology, meaning that the developing technology will have a higher probability of being used, benefiting the end goal to protect and preserve humanity as a whole.

However, by promoting the investment of private wealthy individuals into ‘Green’ technology, this could alternatively create private internal technological wars between investor’s and governments, regarding who can get their hands upon the latest technology development. Being so, this would  ultimately go against the true purpose of ‘Green’ technology development, in which is to continue all life-species upon Earth.

Thus, is Patent law upon ‘Green’ technology beneficial or detrimental? For instance, should the application of Patent law be amended internationally, so to promote the application of Global Justice, specifically upon inventions that protect humanity, as seen in ‘Green’ technologies, rather than the promotion of private investors through the application of Patent’s?

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Author: Portia Vincent-Kirby