One of these brilliant lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and concepts. A protectionist strategy to Inventors Help is designed to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow innovators to capture the profits from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also makes it tougher for new and more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why now there are other approaches being used to move key sectors to more sustainable systems and end this status quo.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla, has been doing just that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the planet in 2014 when he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and handing out its patents at no cost. It is important to understand the rationale here. Why would a company which had worked so hard to develop and protect its technology from its global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away free of charge?

Tesla initially developed a patent portfolio to protect its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it would be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their production of electric cars never came to pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at lower than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from attempting to prevent others from building electric cars to trying to encourage them to the market.

Portion of the reasoning here is that if more electric cars are designed, then more battery recharging stations is going to be built too. This might make electric cars become a little more visible, along with a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that an open New Invention Ideas can strengthen rather than diminish its position because they build the size of the electrical car market, and as a result, build their own share in the total automotive market.

This kind of careful control over intellectual property at company level, supported by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful method to secure the same types of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.

Energy supply faces a multitude of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. This type of water supply sector is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events including flooding and expenses related to supplying water to communities in poor countries and remote communities. The agri-food sector, meanwhile, is under pressure to sustainably produce more food and to address malnutrition in poor countries.

For these particular industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and the innovations that follow will likely be essential. And then in knowledge economies, intellectual property can either be an enabler or an inhibitor.

When the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented within an industry, it can slow down technology innovation and uptake, including in the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead start their innovation processes and depart from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual property is utilized to guard and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing that leads to accelerated innovation cycles and a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives throughout a sector: just what Tesla was dreaming about in electric vehicles.

This approach to Inventhelp Invention Ideas, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature in the software industry and healthcare. It has given use of life-saving medicines to huge numbers of people, specifically in developing countries through patent pools, including the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project relies upon multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their jjnywy property, but small companies can also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not every about open IP.

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