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Intellectual Property and climate change-a great debate

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The policy reason is clear – changing the way the Government handles its intellectual property is something that the Government can do easily, in comparison with some of the much more complicated economic modelling involved with Emission Trading Schemes (and like schemes) – not to mention the extremely complicated politics, lobbying and economic winners and losers associated with such a scheme, which makes it so difficult to implement. It adds an achievement before the Copenhagen meetings on Climate Change that the Government can talk positively about.

To those that understand or believe that intellectual property is a legal method of supporting and encouraging innovation in the economy, it is a very positive step for Governments to take, the “fly in the ointment” though is that not all Governments agree on this and significant disagreement on this policy approach is coming from developing countries and also from Europe.  Instead of supporting a fast-track to encourage the development of intellectual property, there is talk that these types of technologies should not be allowed to be the subject of intellectual property protection, but should be given freely to the world because of the need for it. (This echoes some similar types of arguments about pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and the countries stands are drawn on similar lines). The disparities in viewpoint are vast (and perhaps irreconcilable, hopefully not), but it does not augur well for agreement and achievement at Copenhagen.

Our Intellectual Property team welcomes you to contact them to discuss any questions you have regarding patents.

Author:  Marianne Dunham