Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications
An Empirical Analysis
In recent years, innovation has topped the agenda of policymakers worldwide as they seek to promote green growth and advance sustainable development. As a result, several countries - including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States - have put in place green patent fast-tracking programmes with the aim of accelerating the development and diffusion of environment-friendly technologies. Most recently, China and Brazil have also adopted such measures.
This study by Antoine Dechezleprêtre, a Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), is the first empirical analysis of these programmes. Fast-tracking procedures - which allow applications to be examined and granted at a faster pace than regular patent applications - enable applicants to start licensing their technologies sooner and reach the market more rapidly.
Green fast-tracking programmes can reduce the time from application to the grant of a patent by 42-75 percent, the study finds. Climate change-related technologies - particularly renewable energy technologies - represent the vast majority of patents in these programmes.
The study also finds that there is a clear demand for these procedures, especially from small start-up companies in the green technology sector. Fast-tracked patents are also of significantly higher commercial value than other green patents not requesting accelerated examination. Finally, the study shows that - in the short run - fast-tracking programmes have accelerated the diffusion of knowledge regarding green technologies.
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