March 23rd, 2013 by Danny G. Pérez y Soto - B&R Research
As a firm with an active practice in Latin American countries, we can’t turn a blind eye on the enviromental challenges of the region. The region’s is one of the richest worldwide in natural resources, and is home to a diversity in flora and fauna unmatched by any other region of comparable size in the world. Not in vain it is home to the Amazon rain forest, and some of the biggest sources of fresh water in the world. On the other hand, Latin America is also home to some of the biggest oil reserves in the world, vast amounts of valuable minerals -including emeralds and gold- and a growing agricultural and strockbreeding industry.
This richness in natural resources -as anywhere else is the world- is threatened by climate change, and by the un-regulated extraction of natural resources. Necessary as it is, the use of natural resources must always be conducted in a manner that causes the least amount of damage possible to the enviroment and the local communities. For this efficiency in the use of natural resources and enviroment protection to be achieved, we have two options:
1. Demand tighter regulation of enviroment-damaging industries, and a fair repartition of the costs of the negative externalities resulting from these industries.
2. Actively promote enviromentally-sound business practices and technologies.
Given the notable defficiency of the region’s governments in making use of the first option, at B&R Latin America we believe that the second option will be the most effective for the region. It is for this reason that we have implemented a program for promotion of IP protection of enviromentally-sound technologies and business practices.
The B&R Be Green Program
The B&R Be Green Program is the firm’s response to the region’s necessity of eco-friendly trademarks (namely, trademarks that promote enviromentally-conciouss products or that identify eco-friendly practices) and Green Patents that address issues of energy-efficiency, alternative fuels, agricultural efficiency, energy storage, waste disposal and wind, solar, tidal/wave and nuclear energy.
For clients who want to file applications for this kind of trademarks or patents, we will provide a discount on our professional fees, and we will apply for all available discounts in official fees and special programs that the local PTOs have for these green IP assets. Several PTOs have started implementing Green Patents programs that reduce the time for a patent registration procedure and fasten patentability exams.
If you wish to learn more about promotion of Green IP and learn about the possibilities you have as an owner of green IP Assets, we highly recommend the Paper published on the subject by our Research Department in the Journal of the Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors -PIIPA- available here:
The Green Patents as a way of Addressing Enviromental Issues | PIIPA Journal
(Click on this image to read the articles)
Contact our sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org for requesting this discount and learning more about the extent of the program in each country.
November 7th, 2012 by Danny G. Pérez y Soto - B&R Research
The environment and issues of Climate Change have made headlines all around the world with the recent news of Hurricane Sandy, which affected large parts of the Caribbean and the North American East Coast. As an intellectual property law firm we are always close to environmental issues, since discussions on Intellectual Property rights (IPRs) are at the very heart of the environmental movement. Now more than ever, a balanced approach between the protection of IPRs and fast deployment and transfer of technologies with positive environmental effects is required.
That relationship between the environment, climate change and intellectual property is the central topic of PIIPA Journal’s latest issue. PIIPA Journal is a periodic publication of the Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, an international non-profit organization that provides pro-bono legal counsel on IP issues to the have-nots of the global economy. Our firm is one of PIIPA’s allies in Colombia, providing academic and professional cooperation when required.
(Click on this image to read the articles)
Under this cooperation, our Research Department has published a paper in PIIPA Journal latest issue, arguing that the so-called Green Patents programs are a viable and reasonable approach for addressing the failures of the patent system in encouraging large-scale deployment of environmentally sound technologies. Furthermore, it considers the effect of the whole Green Movement in the Intellectual Property community and explains why this proliferation of green technologies is good news for businesses.
It is the authors’ opinion that Climate Change can no longer be disregarded by experts on Intellectual Property issues. Our global economy is slowly but inexorably moving towards increasingly green technologies, and consumers are now more aware of their footprint on the environment. Those businesses and IP experts who embrace Green Tech first, will also be the first to profit from it. On the other hand, denial of Climate Change issues will only increase the costs of finding suitable solutions when the problem gets worse. To quote Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest cover: It’s Global Warming, stupid.
Our Blog has previously published on PIIPA’s projects in Latin America and conducted an interview to the president of the organization, Mr. Mark Davis.
April 20th, 2012 by Danny G. Pérez y Soto - B&R Research
Since 2008 the intellectual property market has witnessed an impressive surge in the green patents sector, which has been largely influenced by concerns about climate change, the energy crisis, the increasing pollution of the air and seas, and the failure of the Copenhagen summit on climate change of 2009. Latinamerica is just catching up with this global trend, providing a unique opportunity for investors looking for both profit and meaningful investments for solving current global issues.
The very creation of the concept of a “green patent” shows how the environmentally sound language has penetrated the intellectual property market. A green patent, according to several IP Offices around the world, is defined as a patent that addresses issues such as energy efficiency, alternative fuels, agricultural efficiency, wind, solar, tidal/wave and nuclear energy, energy storage, waste disposal and recycling; among many others. IP Offices have knowingly adopted a policy allowing the broadest possible interpretation of what ‘green’ is, with the purpose of keeping an open door to any ground-breaking patent that could address environmental issues in ways previously unknown.
The leading countries in patenting green technologies are Germany, Austria, US, Japan, South Korea and Spain. But they are being rapidly challenged by the emerging markets of Asia and Latinamerica, which had been utterly ignored until now. The growth of the green patenting sector is 110% against the 20% rate of the overall patent market in recent years.
Opportunities for investment in green patents come from different sources:
1. The creation of vast databases for green patents.
The most notable of these, is the IPC Green Inventory, a project by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This database contains all of the international patent applications that have used the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and have been classified as green technologies.
Another database worth mentioning is the one created by the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, Germany. The database, known as esp@cenet, contains around 600.000 clean-energy patents, in a joint effort by European countries to make valuable environmental information available to the world and ease the transfer of knowledge to developing countries.
Intellectual Property offices around the world have also created their own databases, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and –quite recently- the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) of Brazil, among many others.
These databases aim at promoting a significant increase in the licensing of green patents, and creating and incentive for R&D in green technologies. It’s all about reducing the transaction costs created by a highly specialized market.
2. The implementation of fast-track and preferential procedures for the patenting of green technologies.
Brazil is the latest country to join this trend. On April 17, 2012, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) launched a pilot program to reduce the time needed for granting a patent on a technology that falls into one of these categories: alternative energy, transportation, energy conservation, waste management and agriculture. It is estimated that this fast-track process will reduce the examination period in over 3 years for 500 domestic filings, creating an important incentive for entrepreneurs and researchers.
This pilot program is not unlike those of Australia, Israel, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the UK. The United States had a similar initiative created by the Obama administration, but the 3.500 patents targeted have already been granted, and the program is officially closed since February 27, 2012.
These special procedures create opportunities for the fast patenting of technologies through any of these countries. An applicant in possession of a potentially green technology, could initially apply to one of the fast-track procedures in the countries mentioned above, and after that patent is granted use the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) for the filing on the second office. Therefore, he would have his patent protected in record time in places like the European Union (Since the European Patent Office does not provide any kind of special procedure for green patents).
This is a trend sure to be followed by other Latinamerican countries in the coming years. The creation of special incentives and procedures for these patents is a recurring issue in political summits, such as the Summit of the Americas. Investors must stay on the lookout for these golden opportunities.
3. The marketing opportunities of having green patents.
The ownership and use of green patents is one of the smartest ways in which a company can market itself as being ‘green’. Giants such as Honda, GE, GM and Samsung have exploited this marketing resource and have established a reputation as the leaders in the green technology sectors.
Finally, as a report by the Midwest Intellectual Property Institute explains, these emerging markets pose new challenges for lawyers and investors. The most notable of them is the requirement of not only explaining what the patent is, and who made it, but also why you made it, and why you made it the way you made it. It also requires knowledge about environmental issues and addressing issues such as: ¿Is the new environmentally-friendly invention manufactured in an environmentally-friendly way as well?. IP firms will have to address such issues in assisting their clients, who will undoubtly take advantage of a market strongly influenced by the current political agenda.
For sources & more information on this issue, go to: