Clean and Sustainable Technology Innovation

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Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

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Current Op. in Env't. Sustainability


Has patent law provided adequate incentives for environmental innovation? This Article provides a narrative review that describes (1) clean and sustainable technological inventions and (2) various environmental innovation approaches involving patents in some form and incentivizing technological development and diffusion. Clean, sustainable, or green inventions that lower pollution, use resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, or provide significant energy efficiency have garnered an incredible amount of attention. Scholars and other commentators have analysed the role of patents in facilitating technological development to mitigate climate change, including eco-patent commons, a fast track program, a patent rewards system, and a collaborative and cooperative platform. An analysis of the literature shows that patent law offers certain, though perhaps underutilized, opportunities to promote technological innovation that has environmental benefits.

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