One of these lies in just how the world manages the creation and ownership of inventions and ideas. A protectionist approach to How To Sell My Invention Idea To A Company was created to protect and prolong the lifecycle of existing technologies, and permit 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 more difficult for new and more sustainable technologies to be developed and adopted. That explains why now 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 planet in 2014 as he announced that his company was joining the open source movement and giving away its patents for free. It is important to comprehend the rationale here. Why would a company which had worked so hard to develop and protect its technology looking at the 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 would be overwhelmed once established car makers ramped up their manufacture of electric cars never arrived at pass. Instead, it saw the electrical car market stagnate at less than 1% of total vehicle sales. So Tesla changed its strategy from seeking to prevent others from building electric cars to attempting to encourage them in to the market.
Area of the reasoning here is when more electric cars are made, then more battery recharging stations will likely be built too. This could make electric cars become more visible, as well as a more conventional choice. Tesla believes an open intellectual property strategy can strengthen as opposed to diminish its position because they build the size of the electric car market, and for that reason, build its own share in the total automotive market.
This kind of careful handling of Inventhelp Success Stories at company level, backed up by policy-level awareness, can be a powerful approach to secure the same forms of transitions to more sustainable technologies in other industries too.
Energy supply faces an array of difficulties: the depletion of natural resources; air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear risks; and security of supply. This type of water supply sector is fixed by water scarcity, pollutants, extreme environmental events such as 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 and also to address malnutrition in poor countries.
For these industries to navigate a path around these problems, new knowledge and the innovations that follow will likely be essential. As well as in knowledge economies, intellectual property can either be an enabler or even an inhibitor.
If the ownership of intellectual property is fragmented within an industry, it can slow down technology innovation and uptake, like within the electronics industry where multiple players own complementary patents. However, firms can instead open their innovation processes and move away 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 longing 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 use of life-saving medicines to millions of people, especially in developing countries through patent pools, such as the Medicine Patent Pool. This kind of project relies upon multinational pharmaceutical companies sharing their How To Patent, but small companies can also play a strategic roles in creating these new, more sustainable systems, and it’s not all about open IP.