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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hall, Bronwyn H. & Helmers, Christian, 2013. "Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:33-51
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.12.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul David, 2009. "Mitigating “Anticommons” Harms to Research In Science and Technology," Discussion Papers 10-009, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Nov 2010.
    2. Fosfuri, A. & Helmers, C. & Roux, C., 2012. "Are joint patents collusive? Evidence from the US and Europe," Discussion Paper 2012-035, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    3. Marius Ley, Tobias Stucki, and Martin Woerter, 2016. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Green Innovation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    4. Allan, Corey & Jaffe, Adam B. & Sin, Isabelle, 2014. "Diffusion of Green Technology: A Survey," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, April.
    5. Jin, Wei & Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2016. "On the mechanism of international technology diffusion for energy technological progress," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 39-61.
    6. Heyen, Daniel, 2016. "Strategic conflicts on the horizon: R&D incentives for environmental technologies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68104, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Lööf, Hans & Martinsson, Gustav & Mohammadi, Ali, 2017. "Finance and Innovative Investment in Environmental Technology: The Case of Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 445, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    8. Heyen, Daniel, 2015. "Strategic Conflicts on the Horizon: R&D Incentives for Environmental Technologies," Working Papers 0584, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Explaining the Slow Pace of Energy Technological Innovation: Why Market Conditions Matter?," Working Papers 2014.18, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Dutz, Mark A. & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Green growth, technology and innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5932, The World Bank.
    11. Ugo Rizzo & Nicolò Barbieri & Laura Ramaciotti & Demian Iannantuono, 2017. "The division of labour between academia and industry for the generation of radical inventions," SEEDS Working Papers 0817, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Nov 2017.
    12. Daniel Heyen, 2016. "Strategic Conflicts On The Horizon: R&D Incentives For Environmental Technologies," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(04), pages 1-27, November.
    13. Davide Antonioli & Simone Borghesi & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2014. "Are Regional Systems Greening the Economy? the Role of Environmental Innovations and Agglomeration Forces," Working Papers 2014.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    14. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "On the Mechanism of International Technology Diffusion for Energy Productivity Growth," Working Papers 2014.40, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. repec:ucp:jlstud:doi:10.1086/694919 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2578-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.
    18. Wan, Jun & Baylis, Kathy & Mulder, Peter, 2015. "Trade-facilitated technology spillovers in energy productivity convergence processes across EU countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 253-264.
    19. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:364-384 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Patricia Laurens & Lionel Villard & Antoine Schoen & Philippe Larédo, 2017. "The artificial patents in the PATSTAT database: how much do they matter when computing indicators of internationalisation based on worldwide priority patents?," Post-Print hal-01671905, HAL.
    21. Christian Soltmann & Tobias Stucki & Martin Woerter, 2015. "The Impact of Environmentally Friendly Innovations on Value Added," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(3), pages 457-479, November.
    22. Nicolò Barbieri & Alberto Marzucchi & Ugo Rizzo, 2018. "Knowledge sources and impacts on subsequent inventions: Do green technologies differ from non-green ones?," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-11, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    23. repec:aen:journl:ej38-4-stucki is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Bonilla, Jorge & Coria, Jessica & Mohlin, Kristina & Sterner, Thomas, 2015. "Refunded emission payments and diffusion of NOx abatement technologies in Sweden," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 132-145.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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