WIPO Holds Conference on Innovation and Climate Change

13 July 2011: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has hosted a conference on the role of innovation and technology in the development and diffusion of green technologies to provide solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

The event was organized under the title "WIPO Conference on Innovation and Climate Change - Stimulating Innovation, Accelerating Technology Transfer and Diffusion, Enabling Global Solutions," and convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-12 July 2011. Participants addressed how to create policy environments to spur innovation and accelerate technology transfer and diffusion for a carbon neutral future, and explored options to accelerate technology transfer and licensing.

Panelists recalled the divisive views on the issue of intellectual property rights (IPRs) within the climate change regime, while noting that, unlike the pharmaceutical industry, climate change technology patents do not constitute a significant portion of total industry costs and are not able to block an entire technology. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) Senior Fellow Pedro Roffe presented key findings of a joint project with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the European Patent Office (EPO) on trends in patent ownership and licensing of clean energy technologies. He emphasized that IPRs need to be designed to both incentivize innovation, and contribute to technology diffusion. [WIPO Conference Website] [Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest]