Volume 32

IPR Management in International Cleantech Cooperation

by Joy Y. Xiang

Rapid development and global deployment of clean technologies, also known as “cleantech,” is important for climate action and sustainable development. Meanwhile, developed countries own a majority of the existing cleantech;
developing countries need to access and implement cleantech to address climate change and to develop their economies in a sustainable way. Since the 1970’s, the global community has focused on developed countries’ voluntary transfer of cleantech to developing countries. However, this focus has not been effective.

Aiming to enhance global development and deployment of cleantech, this Article explores an alternative–mutually beneficial international cleantech cooperation–which means organizations or countries working together to develop and deploy cleantech on mutually agreeable terms. This Article argues that to be successful and sustainable, the cooperation between a cleantech owner and a cleantech seeker needs to be a win-win arrangement, with just compensation and proper treatment of intellectual property rights (“IPR”). This Article proposes that, besides attempting to reform existing IPR regimes for cleantech, which can be time-consuming, we should take the existing IPR regimes as they are and manage IPR for cleantech creatively or collaboratively. This Article examines available IPR management models in international cleantech cooperation. This Article is the first to specify ways to optimize the WIPO Green program by transforming it into a global platform for mutually beneficial international cleantech deployment.

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