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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the current and potential impact of intellectual property (IP) on efforts to manage and reduce climate change through technological development. To that end it considers international IP and environment treaties (notably the TRIPS Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changes and its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, and the Aarhus Convention) and the extent to which their objectives can and do intersect or conflict. Particular reference is made to discussions at the TRIPS Council and to the activities of WIPO Green. It explores possible ways to increase the role of IP in addressing climate change issues, including limiting the availability of patents, fast-tracking certain patent applications, and promoting IP exploitation models based on sharing rather than control. Finally, it explores the benefits to be gained in developing the relationship between IP and climate change by looking more widely, to human rights and competition laws.

Keywords: Intellectual property, patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, trade secrets, climate change, environment, competition, human rights

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