New Green IP report from Mewburn Ellis

To coincide with the launch of COP26, forward-looking IP firm Mewburn Ellis has released a new report into Green IP.

The report examines the role of patents in making innovative ‘green’ technologies into a reality as well as how the patent landscape can be used to identify opportunities for partnering, collaboration and investment.

It details commercially-focused innovation across a diverse range of technologies that seek to reduce the negative impact of human activities on the climate and natural environment. From repurposing carbon dioxide to make protein-rich foods, to the prospect of an AI-mediated renewable energy supply and harnessing electric vehicle battery technology to drive energy efficiency in consumer devices, the report highlights how patents are crucial to expediting cutting-edge technologies

Using information from the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Patentscope database, the report also reveals a steep increase in the number of patent applications for ‘climate change mitigating technologies’ (CCMTs) over the last decade. Numbers have more than doubled since 2012.

Further, the data identifies the green technology areas that receive the most attention from innovators. By far the most prominent is energy generation and transmission which accounts for 35% of all patent applications, followed by those related to goods production and processing at 20%.

Only 8% of applications relate to reducing the climate impact of buildings, a surprise given that indirect and direct emissions from use of buildings accounted for a quarter of all emissions in the UK in 2019. There are also a vanishingly small number of applications relating to greenhouse gas capture at 1% – a startling finding given the future role that such technologies are expected to play in mitigating climate change.

Jeremy Webster, Partner and European Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis, who led the report, said:

“COP26’s ambitions are commendable but it is real-world and tangible positive change that will be the real measure of success. There is scope to do more, and we call on both governments and business to examine challenges to green innovation.

“Patents are both a driver and a barometer of innovation, and this applies to developments in climate change mitigation as much as it does to any other area of technology.

“It’s therefore crucial that businesses involved in developing new solutions to the climate crisis, and governments aiming to cut carbon emissions, have an in-depth understanding of the patent landscape for CCMTs. Without this it will be impossible to work efficiently towards technological solutions that we can embed in the mainstream.”

About Mewburn Ellis

Mewburn Ellis is Europe’s forward-looking IP firm, offering a full range of IP services covering patents, trade marks and designs. The firm provides bespoke, flexible IP solutions to domestic and international clients, for the present and for the future. Clients include start-ups and innovative challenger brands, research institutions and universities, through to multinationals and many of the world’s most well-respected IP and law firms. Mewburn Ellis operates from offices in London, Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester and Munich.


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