Intellectual Property and the Environment: an Unused Opportunity

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The role of intellectual property (IP) in climate change is undervalued, since the amount of (empirical) research on this topic is limited. However, IP might be an important factor in fighting climate change since the role of IP is to stimulate innovation and the diffusion thereof. This study tries to contribute to climate change discussion by exploring the role between IP and innovation of green technologies (sustainable innovations) using a fixed-effects analysis, thereby being one of the first studies to explore this relationship econometrically. IP has a dual role, namely as an incentive for innovation and as an enabling (or disabling) factor for technology diffusion, and this duality is explored in this study. The results show that IP is currently not designed to act as an incentive for the development of sustainable innovation, which means that IP does not significantly lead to more innovation. Moreover, IP is also currently not designed to promote the diffusion of sustainable innovation, since there is no significant positive relationship between IP and the diffusion of sustainable innovation. This is a situation which needs to be addressed, because IP is a factor that cannot be neglected in fighting climate change.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen