Role Of Intellectual Properties In Advancement Of Green Technology


28 March 2024 8:34 AM GMT

  • Role Of Intellectual Properties In Advancement Of Green Technology
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    There is no formal meaning or specific explanation for the word "green tech." Rather, it enjoys a multitude of interchangeable concepts. Green technology, for instance, has been used interchangeably with terms like "clean tech," "climate-related technologies," and "environmentally sound technologies." However, green technology often consists of two components. First of all, it encompasses a wide range of technological domains, including technology for the production of renewable energy, energy storage, and lowering emissions and pollutants. Second, it is "environmentally friendly" because its main goal is to reduce the adverse effects of climate change.

    Being environmentally conscious is now essential to human survival. For the twenty-first century, building a sustainable future is imperative. Business companies, government agencies, and legislators have started collaborating to address environmental problems and their challenges. In order to support the growth of technology, industries, and operations essential for the emergency of a greener and more sustainable future, it is imperative that the innovation ecosystem expand rapidly and that a capable domestic intellectual property infrastructure be created that is easier to access. Consequently, the idea of "Green IP" has surfaced.

    It is now widely acknowledged on a national and international level that supporting environmental innovations and development is an urgent need. Patent law is at the forefront of the IP system for encouraging and protecting technological innovations, including in fields where technology has a positive environmental impact. The upshot is that "fast-track green patent filings" have become common in several nations. This strategy has led to green technology obtaining patents in less time as compared to the patents that belong to other fields except green technology. It is important to remember at this point that every country has different criteria for granting green patents to environmentally friendly technology. The Patents Act of 1970 governs patents in India.

    Currently, the data from India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry shows the patenting trend in India till 2022 has more than 60,000 green patents. 90 percent of green patents are related to waste management and alternative energy production. The rest of the green technology patents are for energy conservation, transportation technologies, agriculture and forestry, and others.

    For instance, Enviro Recyclean Private Limited a Mumbai based startup established by Rahul Podaar in 2020. Recently, in December, 2023 their patent application was published in patent journal entitled as “Compact integrated system for generation of renewable green energy” the invention mainly relates to the system utilizing renewable resources to produce green energy and provides a means to efficiently consume the renewable resources in a convenient manner.

    The invention depicts about a compact integrated system that generates a renewable green energy from renewable sources that uses less space for installation of system and helps to provide energy in an environment friendly manner and also it saves the cost and installation time of the user.

    Furthermore, a compact integrated system for generation of renewable green energy comprises of an integrated system having a top concentrated solar panel (CSP) section, a central vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) section at the middle, a bottom gear box and a rotor dual converter (GBRDC) section, top CSP section includes solar platform attached with solar section frame tilted at 45 degree angle on both right and left side, attached at all four sides to capture sunlight throughout the day from any angle of the sun path, solar section frame capture highest intensity of sunlight at varied angle of sun for maximum energy production, refractors, reflect sunlight towards solar panels, magnifying glass cover refract maximum sunrays to solar panels to facilitate generation of electricity.

    In furtherance, the wind energy is produced by the central vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) section and bottom gear box rotor and dual converter (GBRDC) section, multiple wings are attached with wing handles fixed on central axis, with the flow of air wings rotate causing rotation of multiple gears associated with the central axis, rotation of wings causes rotation of magnetic bearings which rotates multiple gears, the rotation of magnetic bearing and gears generates kinetic energy, the kinetic energy is transferred to wind energy inside the generator associated with the rotors, rotors are associated with the dual convertor, the dual convertor attached with the system converts solar energy and wind energy for the distribution.

    Another example of the conversion of a granted patent into business is Imagine Power Tree, founded by Shani Pandya. It is a Gandhinagar-based sustainable technology innovation company incubated at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University and supported by the Industries Commissionerate (IC) Department, Government of Gujarat, under the Start-up/Innovation Scheme.

    Imagine a power tree that invents, designs, engineers, and manufactures a solar tree that incorporates beautiful, efficient solar panels in sculptural forms designed to generate electricity, and save huge space consumption. They have 16 design patents in the name for various innovative designs of solar trees. They have also received multiple recognitions and awards from various national and international organizations in the last two years, including the United Nations Top 100 Startups of the World, the Bombay Stock Exchange' Top 10 Startups of India, and others.

    Imagine Power Tree Journey was registered as a private limited company in 2018. Then in 2019, they installed the Imagine Power Tree at GIDC and the Statue of Unity. In 2020, they received an order from Gandhinagar Smart City to install 24 Imagine Power trees across the entire city.

    However, if we discuss about the India's contribution worldwide, when it comes to promoting international action in response to climate change, India has taken the lead globally. India has always believed that nature and human well-being are inextricably intertwined and that humans and the planet are interdependent.

    Recently, at COP 28 (Conference of Parties), India made certain national statements regarding the environment, forests, and climate change. Statements that are made are mentioned below:

    • The call given to the global community by India to join Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment bears testimony to India's action-oriented approach. Furthering the ideals of Mission LiFE, India launched the Green Credit Initiative here at COP28 on 1st December, 2023 to create a participatory global platform for exchange of innovative environmental programs and instruments.
    • Earlier in year 2023, the historic adoption of the Green Development Pact by the G20 nations as part of the New Delhi Declaration.
    • India has now finalized its Third National Communication based on GHG inventory of 2019 along with Initial Adaptation Communication. It underscores our consistent contribution towards climate action while also prioritizing the development and well-being of our people.
    • Over the course of the next eleven years, India will reach the 2030 NDC target and successfully decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, having cut its emission intensity relative to GDP by 33% between 2005 and 2019.
    • India has also achieved 40% of electric installed capacity through non fossil fuel sources, nine years ahead of the target for 2030. India added around 100 GW of installed electric power between 2017 and 2023, with about 80% of that capacity coming from non-fossil fuel-based resources.
    • India have therefore revised our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs0 upwards indicating our deep commitment towards enhanced climate action.
    • Apart from its national endeavors, India has made a noteworthy impact on climate action via its global endeavors, including the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Big Cat Alliance, the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), LeadIT, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
    • The Global Biofuel Alliance, launched when the G20 leaders met in New Delhi earlier this year, seeks to serve as a catalytic platform fostering global collaboration for advancement and widespread adoption of biofuels.

    Global food security has faced serious risks in recent years from the rapidly growing global population, the problems posed by climate change, and the introduction of new pandemics. As a result, novel approaches are desperately required to overcome the present problems and improve food sustainability. While the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, are altering various production and consumption sectors, including food and agriculture, green technologies are gaining major interest in many food and agricultural sectors. Connections between green food technologies (e.g., green preservation, processing, extraction, and analysis for instance, reuse and renewal) and Industry 4.0 enablers (e.g., artificial intelligence, big data, smart sensors, robotics, blockchain, and the Internet of Things) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be identified and explained.

    Industry 4.0 and green technologies are both quickly emerging as important components of achieving the SDGs. These technologies show a great deal of promise to support the digital and ecological transformation of food systems, resulting in positive social, economic, and environmental effects. While the application of digital technologies and other Industry 4.0 technological innovations is still limited in the food sector, a variety of green technologies have already offered creative solutions for significant transformations in the food system. In order to realize a healthier, smarter, more sustainable, and more resilient food future, it is anticipated that more green and digital solutions will be adopted in the upcoming years.

    Role of WIPO: The WIPO Development Agenda serves as the foundation for WIPO's support in implementing Agenda 2030. Since its founding in 2007, WIPO's work has focused more and more on development issues, with a significant growth in the organization's global operations and discussions. To support this, the World Bank established a public-private partnership in 2013 that offers a virtual platform for technical communication where people and organizations from around the globe can engage in discussions about climate change. It connects buyers and sellers of affordable innovations via a channel and database to hasten the development and adoption of green technology.

    As part of its outreach program, WIPO Green has already interacted with innovators, stakeholders, and governments in an effort to achieve its mission of making green technology affordable and accessible. The WIPO initiated the 'Women in Green' interview series in 2020 with the aim of promoting female involvement and entrepreneurship in the green tech innovation industry. Additionally, WIPO Green has developed a pro-bono program to offer legal assistance to developing-nation organizations concerning green innovations.

    Moreover, if green technology and sustainable development are interlinked, then SDG 13 states the action to “combat climate change and its impact.” That requires the development and dissemination of green and environment-friendly technology. In furtherance of the same, the International Patent Classification Committee developed an 'IPC Green Inventory,' which stores and enables its users to access patient-related information surrounding green technologies dealing in alternative energy production, energy conservation, transportation, management of waste, agriculture, forestry, as well as other design-related aspects. Aiming to "promote technological innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations," Article 7 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) also lays out the goals that it seeks to accomplish.

    In furtherance of such objectives, the US and China have joined hands to promote R&D activities in clean energy technologies in the form of a 'Clean Energy Research Center." Similarly, India and the US have partnered to address and meet sustainability challenges through the establishment of the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre (JCERDC).

    Intellectual property rights (IP) can contribute to a sustainable, low-carbon market and a green future. With the help of various organizations, financiers, and collaborators, green inventors can benefit from various IP models at various stages of the inventive process, including R&D, commercialization, market entry, and international distribution of renewable technology. The rapid exhaustion of non-renewable resources calls for changes in renewable energy projects, new international environmental laws, and stricter IP rights enforcement. To encourage green technology development, the Indian government must create guidelines, provide tax benefits to individuals involved in R&D. Strong IP protection encourages creativity and accelerates the production and diffusion of green technologies. As part of expanding international environmental legislation, a transition to a more responsible society based on green technology is needed, with increased IP rights protection being a key element of this strategy.

    Authors: Gopi Trivedi (Senior Partner) And Jinal Bhavsar (Associate) at Y.J. Trivedi & Co. Views are personal.

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