Climate change exposes the trade-off inherent in intellectual property protection. Research and development is expensive; companies won’t invest in it if they don’t expect to profit. Traditionally, profits from new technologies are provided by the exclusive rights granted by the patent system. But by granting patent rights, we ensure that new innovations will have a limited reach. So how do we both create new technologies and spread them as widely as possible? We need climate-friendly technology to be used everywhere, including in developing countries with limited resources. In this episode of Public Ethics Radio, we explore the debate about intellectual-property policy for clean technologies.
Tag Archives: Intellectual Property
Western pharmaceutical and agricultural businesses have long recognized that there is money to be made from the traditional knowledge of local, indigenous communities. Sociologists and anthropologists also seek to gain—intellectually and academically—from conducting research on and with these communities. What rules should govern the interaction with so-called traditional knowledge? How can intellectual property rights be designed so as to minimize harm to indigenous peoples and maximize the goods of research, and share it equitably?