One of these lies in the way the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist approach to intellectual property is made to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and allow Product Ideas to capture the profits from their creations. In a paper published with colleagues from universities in Germany and India, we examined how this also causes it to be more difficult for new and a lot more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why there are now other approaches being used to move key sectors to more sustainable systems and end this status quo.
Electric car manufacturer Tesla, has become doing that. Tesla CEO Elon Musk “shocked” the world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving away its patents at no cost. It is important to be aware of the rationale here. Why would an organization who had worked so hard to build up and protect its technology from its global car manufacturer competitors suddenly give its technology away at no cost?
Tesla initially developed a patent portfolio to guard its technology. However, Tesla’s concern that it will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their creation 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 seeking to prevent others from building electric cars to seeking to encourage them into the market.
Part of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations will likely be built too. This would make electric cars become a little more visible, and a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen rather than diminish its position by building how big the electric car market, and as a result, build its own share in the total automotive market.
This kind of careful handling of intellectual property at company level, supported by policy-level awareness, could be a powerful way to keep the same forms of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.
Energy supply faces an array 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 restricted by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events like 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 industries to navigate a path around these issues, new knowledge and the Inventhelp Products that follow is going to be essential. And in knowledge economies, intellectual property either can be an enabler or an inhibitor.
When the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented in an industry, it may decelerate technology innovation and uptake, like inside the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead open their innovation processes and depart from jealously guarded, internal cultures, where intellectual property is rtaotl to protect and prolong lifecycles. This transformation may see knowledge sharing leading to accelerated Inventhelp News and a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives within a sector: just what Tesla was dreaming about in electric vehicles.
This strategy to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature in the software industry and healthcare. It offers given access to life-saving medicines to thousands of people, specifically in developing countries through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This type of project relies upon multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their intellectual property, but small companies may also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not all about open IP.