Canaan Bridges Consulting Inc. 3 min read
Green start-ups are created every day. Not all of them will remain viable businesses, despite their breakthrough inventions. Canaan Bridges taps into three sustainable development-focused considerations that help green start-ups to scale up to likely companies.
A green Startup that is knowledgeable about IP can use its know-how to inform strategic decisions on markets and is more in line with green growth objectives. While it is not impossible to develop and commercialize IP-intensive content without essential knowledge on the innovators’ part, an innovator equipped with basic knowledge in the field is likely to be more confident and knowledgeable in business pursuits. For example, knowing how to conduct prior art searches can save the green innovator time and money, whereas such examinations shed questionable doubt on the novelty of a green invention. Disseminating relevant IP knowledge to key green entrepreneurs is essential in building sustainable innovation for a green future.
Global Partnerships and sustainable outcomes
It is almost impossible to develop, successfully monetize and manage green innovation in silos. Building sustainable global partnerships help green innovators to remain viable long-term businesses through collaborative work with like-minded partners within and across economies. While beneficial opportunities may emerge from similar-situated partnerships, networks of diverse sectors can help advance green innovators’ goals. In this context, the focus is on creating solid assets, leveraging human and financial capital, increasing market access opportunities, and securing proprietary collaborations.
Interests in the long term. Sustainable partnerships also promote the IP and innovation narrative in the global green future space. When well-engineered and used along with other IP strategies, green innovation is facilitated in sustainable integration into everyday uses. The benefit? Strategic global partnerships can help to shift the paradigm in the IP and climate change and development discourse to more realistic and beneficial outcomes for owners and users of green innovation.
Is there a Role for Green Patent Pools?
Patent pools enable patent owners to pool their patents together. Patent pools usually include complementary or substitute patents databases, available to users (licensees) for a fee. These pools allow licensees to obtain and use, for a licensee fee, patented technologies in their innovations. In this context, it may reduce transaction costs. Complementary patent pools are usually preferred over patent substitutes for reasons which will become more apparent below.
Patent pools are not the standard in the green industry. However, it is one way of commercializing and managing IP, and it is worthwhile to consider its fit with specific green products. For example, can sustainable linkages be made between green technologies and patent pools? What benefits are available for an early entrepreneur in the clean technology space seeking to pool her patents with that of others in related but different industries? How will this work across different countries? One drawback of patent pools is that they may run afoul of anti-trust laws, particularly where the pool mainly consists of patent substitutes. The reasoning behind this: when the patents are substitutes for each other, there is little or no incentive for others outside the pool to innovate in the field. The pools may therefore become a breeding ground for monopolistic behaviour. Green startups should think carefully about the costs and benefits of being a part of patent pools.
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