Patent office initiatives in sustainable technologies

The energy transition needed to mitigate climate change requires urgent action on a global scale. While established technologies can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to some degree, many accept that we will need to rely on emerging and future innovations to enable us to make the transition to net zero. Patent filings are often used to measure innovation outputs and a barometer of innovation trends in various areas of technology.

Patent offices around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the role that their patent databases can play in providing intelligence on trends in climate-friendly innovation. Here are some examples of patent office initiatives in the green technology space.

The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has established a Green Transformation Technologies Inventory (GXTI) to help users search for patent documents relating to green transformation technologies.

Similarly, the European Patent Office (EPO) has established a new “Y” classification scheme for technologies relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Further information can be found here.

WIPO Green has also been set up as an online platform for technology exchange. It supports global efforts to address climate change by connecting providers and seekers of environmentally friendly technologies.

Certain patent offices also offer accelerated examination in green technologies. See, for example, the UK’s Green Channel; and the US’s Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program.

Writer: Hsu Min Chung (Fellow)


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