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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers, 2010. "The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-23, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fisher-Vanden, Karen & Jefferson, Gary H. & Liu, Hongmei & Tao, Quan, 2004. "What is driving China's decline in energy intensity?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-97, March.
    2. Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Glachant, Matthieu & Ménière, Yann, 2008. "The Clean Development Mechanism and the international diffusion of technologies: An empirical study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1273-1283, April.
    3. Matthieu Glachant & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Ivan Hascic & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2009. "Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies on a Global Scale: A Study Drawing on Patent Data," Working Papers 2009.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Matthieu Glachant & Ivan Haščič & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2011. "Invention and Transfer of Climate Change--Mitigation Technologies: A Global Analysis," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 109-130, Winter.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Takeshi Iida & Kenji Takeuchi, 2011. "Does free trade promote environmental technology transfer?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 159-190, October.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:724-:d:135020 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Regulatory Distance and the Transfer of New Environmentally Sound Technologies: Evidence from the Automobile Sector," Working Papers 2012.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. repec:spr:envpol:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10018-016-0175-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Hendry, 2010. "Climate Change: Lessons for our Future from the Distant Past," Economics Series Working Papers 485, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Neumayer, Eric & Perkins, Richard, 2015. "Environmental regulation and the cross-border diffusion of new technology: Evidence from automobile patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 244-257.
    7. David Popp, 2012. "The Role of Technological Change in Green Growth," NBER Working Papers 18506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giorgio Calcagnini & Ilario Favaretto & Germana Giombini & Francesco Perugini & Rosalba Rombaldoni, 2016. "The role of universities in the location of innovative start-ups," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 670-693, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Popp, David, 2012. "The role of technological change in green growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6239, The World Bank.
    11. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:364-384 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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(3), pages 364-384, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Valentina Bosetti & Elena Verdolini, 2013. "Clean and Dirty International Technology Diffusion," Working Papers 2013.43, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Dutz, Mark A. & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Green growth, technology and innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5932, The World Bank.
    16. Nemet, Gregory F., 2012. "Inter-technology knowledge spillovers for energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1259-1270.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; intellectual property; innovation; technology transfer;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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