The World Intellectual Property Day is an annual celebration which emphasizes on the importance of Intellectual Property rights and to celebrate creativity and innovation across the globe. The theme of the 2020 World IP day focuses on how intellectual property rights encourage green innovation. It emphasizes on Intellectual Property and Innovative technologies that protect the environment.
In this age, there is a greater awareness of the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly practice. Over the years it has become necessary to accelerate the development and innovation of green technologies that will sustain the environment. The Green technology includes the following general categories of such technologies: Alternative Energy Production, Energy Conservation, Transportation, Waste Management and Agriculture/Forestry,
Generally IP laws give value to IP products which is an incentive for development of diffusion of green technology. IP rights may be seen as a valuable tool to promote development and diffusion of green technology. Article 7 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) acknowledges this role of intellectual property rights and states that –The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to 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.
The role of different intellectual property rights varies between different industries as the different types of IP have different relationships with technology. Traditionally, patents are considered as the most probable type of intellectual property that best relates to technology since only new inventions are patentable.
Intellectual property laws have a distinct role in shaping both the development of technology in general as well as green technology because of its impact on research and development. Intellectual Property rights provide an incentive for technology research and development. It gives the technology developers guaranteed rights to exploit their innovations exclusively and prevent others from using their technology without their authorizations.
- Intellectual property rights have a positive impact on green technology in that they provide financial encouragement for innovation and the creation of new technologies. Guaranteed intellectual property rights protection will attract private investment and, in turn, will encourage research and innovation.. Intellectual property laws also facilitate the dissemination of green technology by way of publication, which consequently should encourage development of more technology.
- Intellectual Property has become a critical element in modern strategy for the promotion of innovation, inventiveness, and technology transfer for green technology. IP protection enables green technology creation, adaptation and distribution. IPR attracts foreign direct investment (FDI) and promotes R&D and technology transfer in developing countries
- Intellectual Property empowers research institutions and small ventures that are poor in financial capital, real and personal property, but rich in human capital and invention. Such institutions / ventures may not possess the wherewithal to commercialize and make available their inventions. Incentives provided by intellectual property laws encourage the commercialization of the technology, which will result in its broad dissemination, and will further encourage improvements that will result in more marketable features for green technology.
As we celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day, we recognize organizations and institutions that encourage green technology development in Nigeria.
The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) was set up by the Government of Nigeria to encourage creativity and innovation. NOTAP creates an enabling environment to initiate strategies and protect innovations and inventions. The role of NOTAP includes Evaluation/Registration/Monitoring implementation of Technology Transfer Agreements; Promotion of Intellectual Property rights; Technology Advisory and Support Services; Commercialization of R& D Results from private and public institutions and Establishment of network of linkages among researchers, inventors, industry and research institutions amongst other activities.
In 2006, NOTAP established Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in Nigerian universities, tertiary institutions, and research institutes. The initiative was a deliberate policy for stimulating innovation in Nigeria. Its primary objective was to foster entrepreneurship among researchers and students and thus help diversify the economy. The IPTTO was structured to support the institution’s initiative of developing patent culture and an alignment with new values. It also set into motion a formal system of incentives and rewards that encourages faculties and individual researchers to engage in partnerships.
Clean Technology Hub was set up to drive sustainable development across Africa through innovation in clean technologies and their application. It is a pioneering hybrid hub for the research, development, demonstration, and incubation of clean technologies for increased energy access and improved climate resilience.
Nigeria Climate Innovation Center- vision is to lead the growth of a viable Green Economy in Nigeria. This is done through strengthening of domestic innovation capacity and financing for the development, transfer and deployment of innovative climate solutions as investible venture. The center is committed to supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs and SMEs in developing profitable and context-specific solutions to climate change by providing support to accelerate the development, deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate and clean energy technologies.
Nigeria has made progress in increasing awareness and development of the IP system, encouraging innovative and inventive skills, and commercializing indigenous research and development. However, there is need to strengthen the value and protection of IP rights as Stronger IP rights on green technologies enable scalability.
It is necessary to adopt a change towards a more sustainable lifestyle based on green technologies, which is part of the development of new global environmental policies – stronger protection of IP rights is an integral part of this process.
The opinions in the articles are for general information purposes only and do not form a legal relationship or be taken as legal advice. To explore legal advice, please consult your solicitor or feel free to get in touch with us directly.