Book Review: Interactions Of Climate Change And The Global IP System 10/01/2017 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Climate change is prompting the need for new technologies to address the consequences of the weather changing patterns. A book authored by a number of scholars provides an introduction to the interactions of climate change with the global intellectual property, innovation, human rights and international trade systems. According to the book “Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change,” edited by Joshua Sarnoff, the intersections of climate change and IP “are numerous, and the conflicts that will be engendered will consume substantial amounts of public attention and money.” The book is organised in five broad categories: Chapters 2 to 7 provide basic information on climate science and the international environment and IP treaty context. Chapters 8 to 10 look into underlying philosophical perspectives, addressing human rights in particular. Chapters 11 to 15 address the differing approaches to the development and transfer of technologies, focusing on government technology funding choices, and university-based technology development and transfer. Chapters 16 to 22 focus on specific doctrinal areas if IP law, in particular patents, trade secrets, copyright and digital rights. Chapters 23 to 26 look at main contexts where climate change-related intellectual property concerns are likely to arise, such as energy, transportation, and agriculture. For example, chapter 16, authored by Sarnoff, says that most patented mitigation and adaptation technologies are being invented in a small group of developed countries and a few emerging economy countries, including China and India. “The reliance principally by the North on the patent system, and the varying benefits of the patent system for the wide range of technologies and markets in the South, may pose additional barriers to technology transfer,” he wrote. It may also generate “new political confrontations over the patent system, similar to those that have occurred in regard to access to essential medicines,” Sarnoff said. The chapter also looks into problems with effective transfer of patented technologies through markets. “Even without regard to the dramatic geographical imbalances in patenting and licensing behaviours, patented climate change technologies so far have taken very long times to reach the mass market and to achieve widespread diffusion,” he said. In general, technology needs of users in developing countries may differ from those of users in developed countries, according to Sarnoff, and “relying on private markets and patents to distribute the needed technologies to the developing South may prove both costly and ineffective, but we do not actually know if this outcome will result.” On trade secrets, chapter 17, authored by Sharon Sandeen and David Levine, says that contrary to the popular belief that those who invent will readily patent their invention and licence it, “there are a number of reasons why advances in technology often remain hidden.” For example, “a company may have a substantial investment in incumbent technology and be unwilling to switch to new technology until a sufficient return is earned on its original investment.” However, the two authors find, the information protected by trade secret law is only protected from acts of misappropriation. The discovery of information through independent development and reverse engineering is allowed and “fully condoned as a necessary activity in a free-market economy.” In chapter 18, author Estelle Derclaye explains the role of copyright in the protection of the environment, such as in eco-friendly architectural plans and buildings, literature, charts, diagrams, maps and photographs, films about the weather, software and databases. Related rights are explored by Michael Carroll in chapter 19, and in particular rights involved in data collection and data sharing. The book is published by Edward Elgar Publishing, and is available here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Book Review: Interactions Of Climate Change And The Global IP System" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.