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GRUR International, 2021

DOI: 10.1093/grurint/ikaa183

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Patent Law and Climate Change – Do We Need an EU Patent Law Directive on Clean Technology?

Journal article published in 2021 by Christian Heinze
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract

Abstract With the fight against climate change high on the EU’s political agenda, it seems timely to discuss the possible impact of climate change policies on intellectual property. The following article sketches the relationship between patent law and climate change and provides a catalogue of possible interventions in patent law that could be considered in the fight against climate change. Without attempting to give definite answers, a cautious approach is suggested. This could include minor adjustments such as a clarification of the relevance of environmental damage for the assessment of the ordre public exclusion and of environmental benefits for the assessment of inventive step. It could also see the introduction of fast-track prosecution procedures for climate-friendly inventions (or environmentally-friendly inventions in general) in patent offices where such procedures are not available, and a clarification of the effect of industry agreements to improve the environmental performance of equipment for the context of patent infringement disputes.