Green IP – Way Forward To Sustainability
Going green is not an option but necessary for continuous survival of human existence. Building a way forward to a green future is a 21st century imperative. The impact of climate change and need to act to preserve the environment is felt across the globe. Companies, Bureaucrats and Governments have unitedly begin to take action to tackle the climate change and the adversities arising out of it.
Considering the global climate crisis as a daunting challenge, technology is progressively recognized as a solution to this crisis. With day-to-day technological advancements, there arises a dire need to establish a robust innovation system and facilitate access to effective national IP systems that upkeeps the development of technology, products and services required in evolution of a green future.
To protect such innovations, advancements and creativity in the country and across the globe, Intellectual Property system plays a crucial and an enabling role in this drive.
The term ‘Green Technology’ signifies any kind of environmental friendly or clean technology. It further relates to the products and innovations of devices used in environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring, promote sustainability and conserve the natural environment.
Green technology includes varied nature of products and systems. The International Patent Classification Committee developed an “IPC Green Inventory” which facilitates searches for patent information relating to green technology.
IPC Green Inventory includes following categories of technology:
a.Alternative Energy Production;
c.Nuclear Power Generation;
f.Agriculture Forestry; and
g.Administrative, Regulatory and Design Aspects.
By adoption of green technologies global warming caused due to emission of greenhouse gases, allow us to conserve the non-renewable energy and find alternative sources of energy namely; wind, solar, biomass, etc.
GREEN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Intellectual property rights are core to the advancement and development of technology as they are conceptualized in the form of proprietary rights, which may further be transferred, licensed, assigned and protected against infringement.
Article 7 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) acknowledges this role of intellectual property rights:
The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.”
It is imperative to note that one of the primary reasons of granting monopoly rights under the IP system was to encourage and promote technological innovation and environmental benefits. There arose the need to develop and protect Green technology by way of Green IP.
The term ‘Green Intellectual Property’ refers to the protection of innovations in the field of green technology. It is a concept where innovations which are helpful to environment in one or the other way are legally protected.
Subsequently, there was advent of green technologies which tend to protect the environment by reducing the plausible hazards caused to the environment due to increasing globalization, urbanization and human intervention. Therefore, it is need of the hour to take an initiative for providing a fast track procedure for protection of Green Intellectual Property.
Additionally an effective Green IP system coupled with government initiatives and commercialized approaches may provide for the most efficient framework for green technologies.
Since 2009, many patent offices, mainly in industrialized countries, have put in place schemes to fast track ‘green’ patent applications. These include the UK IP office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Korean Patent Office, the Australian IP Office, the Japan Patent Office and the Canadian IP Office. In April 2012, the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) announced a pilot program to accelerate green patent applications. The objective is to encourage innovation in green technologies by bringing new products to the marketplace more quickly.”