International News

Jul 28, 2014

Patents Goes Green

by Sharmila Ganpat

There are numerous possibilities which are enabling today’s population to mitigate the impact of human activity on the environment. One of the main possibilities lies with technology. This resolution involves research into technical methods to help safeguard the environment without the disturbance of human activity. In other words, “clean” or “green” inventions are being created to conserve and protect the destruction being imposed to the environment, so that we would not have to radically change our lifestyles.

Over the last few years, the relationship between environmental sustainability and intellectual property has frequently captured the headlines. Patents are the most significant vehicle to foster technological revolution. However, other intellectual property rights also have a role to play. Trademarks are also important aspects in that; they help consumers to distinguish “clean” or “green” products and services in contrast to others. Copyright-protected software can also play a part, as it has been shown that buying online helps in reducing emissions compared to traditional shopping.

Technology in the 21st century is becoming more and more innovative with respect to ideas and the expressed creations of the mind. New inventions are being thought about and made to help mitigate or reverse the effects of human activity on the environment.  The fact remains that inventions and patents are the key to the green revolution, for only technological innovations will allow us to contain the effects of human activity on the environment.

Green EnergyFor example, several brands of cars are now “Going Green” in order to enhance sustainable development. According to the CleanTech focused website, “CleanTechnica,” Toyota is moving and shaking in clean energy patents and leading green technology patents for the third consecutive quarter according to reports. Toyota’s patents were first and foremost in the fuel cell technology. This will have strong benefits over conventional combustion based technologies, in that, the product is water vapour instead of greenhouse gases and air pollution which create smog and cause health problems.

On the other side of things, Nokia is a mobile company which is trying to move in a more sustainable way. The company has filed a patent application in which the phone will charge up based on the movement of the user. Based on the article “Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester,” reports are wondering if this could be the start of the next generation of renewable energy cell phones. This will be a major advantage and opportunity for persons in developing countries with restricted electricity access. Imagine a person going about their everyday activities and the device is charging itself. A patent like this is major news!

With this being said, these two corporations, Toyota and Nokia are examples of industries utilizing more ecological technologies. Imagine the possibilities that still exist for not only industries, but us as individuals to create a more eco-friendly environment.