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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 patent protection may not be the optimal instrument for encouraging innovation in this area, especially given the range and variety of green technologies as well as the need for local adaptation of technologies.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16323.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer, with Christian Helmers (Oxford University), Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal 26 (2010): 487-532.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16323

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Cited by:
  1. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Regulatory distance and the transfer of new environmentally sound technologies: evidence from the automobile sector," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 73, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers, 2011. "Innovation and Diffusion of Clean/Green Technology: Can Patent Commons Help?," NBER Working Papers 16920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nemet, Gregory F., 2012. "Inter-technology knowledge spillovers for energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1259-1270.
  4. Dutz, Mark A. & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Green growth, technology and innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5932, The World Bank.
  5. 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, vol. 4, pages 364-384, September.
  6. Valentina Bosetti & Elena Verdolini, 2013. "Clean and Dirty International Technology Diffusion," Working Papers 2013.43, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Takeshi Iida & Kenji Takeuchi, 2011. "Does free trade promote environmental technology transfer?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 159-190, October.
  8. David Hendry, 2010. "Climate Change: Lessons for our Future from the Distant Past," Economics Series Working Papers 485, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Popp, David, 2012. "The role of technological change in green growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6239, The World Bank.

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