This article has been written by P Kameshwari, pursuing the Certificate Course in Trademark Licensing, Prosecution and Litigation from LawSikho.
Climate change can include global warming, extreme cold, rainfall, wind, it includes everything, which moves away from the normal climatic conditions which is suitable to the biodiversity. Intellectual Property is simply the product of a person’s mind and labour, which needs to be protected. For addressing the issues of Climate change, we can emphasis more on the Green Technology, where its new forms evolved in many developed countries and for protecting this new technology they took help Intellectual Property Rights. So, the Green Technology protected by Patents is called Green Patents. The new technology patented and protected, which serves the environment with numerous benefits.
Countries like Brazil and Spain promoted Green Patents and used it for agricultural purposes whereas in Spain there are organizations like TECAM, which provides efficient environment friendly and green technology oriented solutions to various industries to prevent them from harming the environment. This article will include details about climate change and IP, how these two different topics are connected to each other, how this concept works in our countries, how this concept can be brought to India, its benefits, what problems India is facing with regard to issues related to the environment and how this can be the possible remedy.
Significant connection between climate change and intellectual property rights and what is green technology
There is a significant connection in Climate change and Intellectual Property Rights Climate change has various adverse effects which is happening all over the globe. we need the evolving Green Technology. Climate change is causing glacier melting, excessive droughts, rains, cyclones, tsunamis, which is affecting the flora fauna, forests which is a home to various species and animals. At the same time, the industries, and humans cause environment pollution by various activities like discharging pollutants in the water, air beyond a prescribed level, air and water pollution at the time of festivals in India and there is release of Greenhouse gases like methane, CO2, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons from the air conditioner which is aiding to environment pollution and the climate change.
Green Technology can be defined as using the latest technology to save and protect the environment. For eg it can be waste water treatment – this helps to make the water drinkable and free from pollutants which are discharged in seas and rivers, elimination of industrial emissions – eradication of industrial waste is a necessary step to control the air pollution, which increases the greenhouse gases in the air, which in consequence give birth to global warming. Recycling waste management – managing solid waste must be a commitment to individuals and companies. As per latest survey by UNEP, it is stated that 50 kg of food is wasted per person, per year in Indian homes which in consequence increases the global warming, by increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the environment, like smart containers, automated food waste tracking system etc. to deal with the solid waste efficiently, waste to energy – this is a unique form of technology which generates energy from waste. Energy is developed in the form of electricity, steam, hot water that is useful to any organization.
Generation of energy from waves – in this technology energy is generated from sea waves. This was first done in Agucadoura, Portugal which is 8 kms away from the coast. Vehicles that don’t emit gases – these are popularly known as ecological vehicles. These vehicles don’t have any negative influence on the environment and helps in controlling the pollutants present in the atmosphere. Harnessing solar energy – this is the most well known and most worked on technology, few examples around us are photovoltaic collector to produce electricity and solar street lamps.
Vertical gardens and farms – this unique technology has numerous benefits. These gardens does not require water, as they are installed on wall, they prevent noise pollution as well and these mitigate the high temperature caused by global warming. Natural gas boilers – this is popularly known as green boiler, where tradition boiling system have two tanks, whereas this aims to have one integrated tank or a separate storage close to the heating system. Self sufficient buildings – these buildings can generate energy, without any external contribution. Patenting and promoting this Green Technology has numerous benefits like:
- Scope and awareness of IPR will increase which will promote technology.
2. Promote Education and Generate Employment.
3. Promote Inventions and Productivity.
4. Promote Globalization.
- Lastly and the most effective will be, that it will promote the economy and save the environment at the same time.
Green technology across the globe
Green Patents is widely used and promoted in countries like Brazil, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, UK, and USA. In Brazil, the National Institute of Industrial Property expedited the registration of inventions through Green Patent Program. Since 2012, the project received 844 requests and issued 294 letters patent till February 2020. The agriculture sector in Brazil, got benefited with the help of green technology in many ways. A MNC called AGCO focused on the agriculture in Brazil in its project called Farm Solutions. In these projects, through digitization it seeks ways to save natural resources like water and to control the excessive use of pesticides.
In Spain, there is an organization called TECAM which focuses on giving technology driven solutions to industries to mitigate the air and water pollution caused by them. The Intellectual Property offices of Countries like U.K, USA offer programs like Green Channel and Green Technology Pilot Program 2009 which do accelerated reviews of applications covering green technology. Even the Eco Patents Common, which is founded by some of the world’s largest companies like IBM, Sony, Nokia, Pitney Bowes, seeks collaboration between business with an intention to create a platform for innovation and market implementation of green technologies. The members can pledge the patents that provide environmental benefits, which others members can use without paying license fee.
When it comes to India, we do have green technology but we use it in a very limited way and it is very outdated. In India we can come across, solar cells, hydroelectricity, wind mills, etc. This technology is available at few places in India, not all over the country. Further, the number of industries increasing in India, so naturally they cause air, water pollution which gives birth to global warming and other environment related problems. Vehicles, burning of crops, crackers at the time of festivals, cause a lot of air pollution. So to address these problem the Green Patents can play a very significant role to solve these environment related problems.
Firstly like UK, USA India can start a program to accelerate the review applications of green technology, with a good reward to encourage people to come up with inventions for green technology. Secondly law and science graduates should be mandatorily given green technology invention projects to promote Green patents. Thirdly India should come with more organizations like in Brazil and Spain which will help to address the issues of the country like agriculture, unemployment, making the environment laws better implementing. Various organizations and especially the corporates should be encouraged to collaborate and make technology driven, environment friendly solutions for various factories and industries in India, to curb the environment pollution caused by them.
Green Patents are widely used and encouraged in developed countries. They are using every single aspect of it to boom the economy, for addressing their issues and for the betterment of the environment. India has its own issues, with the environment related problems which can be addressed with using Green Patents as a tool for innovation.
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