Whether Development of Green IP Will Promote Environmental Sustainability in India?
The term Green IP refers to the protection of innovations in the field of
green technology. It is a concept which entails the legal protection of
innovations which may prove helpful to the environment. In today’s date, going
green is not only an option but a necessity to facilitate the continuance of
human survival. In this view, India has slowly begun to realize that
environmental degradation has increasingly become a primordial threat to growth
and development, further restricting sustainability.
For the facilitation of this environmental sustainability, innovation policies
and environmental laws will play a key role in addressing global environmental
issues and to protect such innovations, advancements and creativity,
Intellectual Property system plays an enabling role.
Article 7 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS) asserting the role of Green IP holds:
The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute
to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and
dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of
technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic
welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.
However, there appears to be some ambiguity about the role of Green IP as either
a barrier or a catalyst to widespread access and use of innovations that also
benefit the environment and society. The body of literature on IP strongly
indicates that companies can strategically use their IP to foster structural
changes in industries and economies, such as through shaping the appropriability
regime they operate in, but with hardly any focus on sustainability-related
Irrespective of the counter analysis, I would still like to believe that
Intellectual property as a policy exists to create an enabling environment for –
and to stimulate investment in – innovation; to create a framework in which new
technologies can be traded around the world and shared, and even if faced with
certain hindrances, will fulfill the sustainability goals. In the modern days,
intellectual property rights can truly help the transition to a sustainable,
low-carbon emission economy by creating a green future.
A successful green
innovator can, by adopting different IP systems at different stages of their
innovation process (i.e, research and development, commercialization,
market-entry, and diffusion of green technology), truly lead India to a
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