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Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?

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  • Hall, Bronwyn H.
  • Helmers, Christian

Abstract

This paper explores the characteristics of 238 patents on 90 inventions contributed by major multinational innovators to the “Eco-Patent Commons”, which provides royalty-free access to third parties to patented innovations on green technologies. We compare the pledged patents to other patents in the same technologies or held by the same multinationals to investigate the motives of the contributing firms as well as the potential for such commons to encourage innovation and diffusion of climate change related technologies. We find pledged patents to protect environmentally friendly technologies and to be of similar value as the average patent in a pledging firm's patent portfolio but of lower value than other patents in their class. Our analysis of the impact of the patent commons on diffusion of patented technologies suggests that making patents accessible royalty-free did not result in any significant increase in diffusion as measured by citing patents. This study, therefore, indirectly provides evidence on the role of patents in the development and diffusion of green technologies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-51

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:33-51

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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Keywords: Patent commons; Green technology; Eco-patents; Diffusion; Climate change;

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References

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  1. Richard Jefferson, 2006. "Science as Social Enterprise: The CAMBIA BiOS Initiative," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 13-44, October.
  2. Hall, Bronwyn & Helmers, Christian, 2010. "The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. Lei, Zhen & Juneja, Rakhi & Wright, Brian D, 2009. "Patents versus patenting: implications of intellectual property protection for biological research," MPRA Paper 34640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Davide Antonioli & Simone Borghesi & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2014. "Are Regional Systems Greening the Economy? the Role of Environmental Innovations and Agglomeration Forces," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2014.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Dutz, Mark A. & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Green growth, technology and innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 5932, The World Bank.
  3. David, Paul A., 2011. "Mitigating 'anticommons' harms to research in science and technology," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 001, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  4. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "On the Mechanism of International Technology Diffusion for Energy Productivity Growth," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2014.40, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Corey Allan & Adam B. Jaffe & Isabelle Sin, 2014. "Diffusion of Green Technology: A Survey," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 14_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  6. Marius Ley & Tobias Stucki & Martin Wörter, 2013. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Green Innovation," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 13-340, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  7. Wen Wen & Marco Ceccagnoli & Chris Forman, 2013. "Patent Commons, Thickets, and Open Source Software Entry by Start-Up Firms," NBER Working Papers 19394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fosfuri, A. & Helmers, C. & Roux, C., 2012. "Are joint patents collusive? Evidence from the US and Europe," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center 2012-035, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  9. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Explaining the Slow Pace of Energy Technological Innovation: Why Market Conditions Matter?," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2014.18, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Ramona Miron & Simona Gabor, 2012. "Intellectual Property Within The Emerging Renewable Energy Market: A Case Study Of The Eu," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 364-384, September.

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