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One of these lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist method of Product Ideas was created to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and enable 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 harder for new and more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why nowadays 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 entire world in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving out its patents free of charge. You should be aware of the rationale here. Why would a company that had worked so hard to build up 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 will be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their creation of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electric car market stagnate at less than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from trying to prevent others from building electric cars to trying to encourage them in to the market.

Portion of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are built, then more battery recharging stations will be built too. This would make electric cars become more visible, along with a more conventional choice. Tesla believes that an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen instead of diminish its position because they build the size of the electric car market, and for that reason, build their own share in the total automotive market.

This kind of careful management of Invent Help Inventor at company level, backed up by policy-level awareness, can be considered a powerful approach 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. Water supply sector is restricted by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events like flooding and costs associated with supplying water to communities in poor countries and remote communities. The agri-food sector, meanwhile, is under pressure to sustainably produce more food as well as address malnutrition in poor countries.

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

If the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented in an industry, it can slow down technology innovation and uptake, including within 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 used to briaac and prolong lifecycles. This change may see knowledge sharing that leads to accelerated innovation cycles as well as a more rapid uptake of sustainable alternatives throughout a sector: just what Tesla was hoping for in electric vehicles.

This method to intellectual property, so-called “open IP”, is well advanced and mature inside the software industry and healthcare. It has given usage of life-saving medicines to millions of people, particularly in developing countries through patent pools, like the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project relies upon multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their How To Do A Patent Search With Inventhelp, but small companies can also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s its not all about open IP.