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The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Christian Helmers

Abstract

Global climate change mitigation will require the development and diffusion of a large number and variety of new technologies. How will patent protection affect this process? In this paper we first review the evidence on the role of patents for innovation and international technology transfer in general. The literature suggests that patent protection in a host country encourages technology transfer to that country but that its impact on innovation and development is much more ambiguous. We then discuss the implications of these findings and other technology-specific evidence for the diffusion of climate change-related technologies. We conclude that the “double externality” problem, that is the presence of both environmental and knowledge externalities, implies that IP may not be the ideal and cannot be the only policy instrument to encourage innovation in this area and that the range and variety of green technologies as well as the need for local adaptation of technologies means that patent protection may be neither available nor useful in some settings.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2010-23.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-23

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Keywords: Climate change; intellectual property; innovation; technology transfer;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Popp, David, 2012. "The role of technological change in green growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 6239, The World Bank.
  2. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Helmers, Christian, 2011. "Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 025, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. Takeshi Iida & Kenji Takeuchi, 2011. "Does free trade promote environmental technology transfer?," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 159-190, October.
  4. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Regulatory Distance and the Transfer of New Environmentally Sound Technologies: Evidence from the Automobile Sector," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2012.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Nemet, Gregory F., 2012. "Inter-technology knowledge spillovers for energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1259-1270.
  6. David Hendry, 2010. "Climate Change: Lessons for our Future from the Distant Past," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 485, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Dutz, Mark A. & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Green growth, technology and innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 5932, The World Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. Valentina Bosetti & Elena Verdolini, 2013. "Clean and Dirty International Technology Diffusion," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2013.43, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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