Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Property Law
Subtitle of host publicationV. The Political Economy of Intellectual Property
EditorsRochelle Dreyfuss, Justine Pila
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780198758457
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-875845-7
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Intellectual property
  • patents
  • copyright
  • trademarks
  • designs
  • trade secrets
  • climate change
  • environment
  • competition
  • human rights

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    Cite this

    Brown, A. E. L. (2017). Intellectual Property and Climate Change. In R. Dreyfuss, & J. Pila (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Property Law: V. The Political Economy of Intellectual Property (pp. 958-990). Oxford University Press.