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Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis

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This paper is the first study to empirically analyze green patent fast-tracking programmes and to examine whether these programmes may help the diffusion of green technologies. After pointing out the main differences among the approaches taken by different countries, the paper presents several key findings, such as there is a clear demand for fast-tracking procedures, climate change-related technologies represent the vast majority of patents in the fast-tracking programmes.

By Antoine Dechezleprêtre
London School of Economics and Political Science


ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Energy


Issue Paper No. 37


ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual PropertyFebruary 2013


Fast-tracking Green
Patent Applications
An Empirical Analysis






l ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


By Antoine Dechezleprêtre
London School of Economics and Political Science


ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Energy


Fast-tracking Green
Patent Applications
An Empirical Analysis


Issue Paper 37


February 2013




ii A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


Published by
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
International Environment House 2
7 Chemin de Balexert, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 8492 Fax: +41 22 917 8093
E-mail: ictsd@ictsd.ch Internet: www.ictsd.org


Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz: Chief Executive
Core Team:
Christophe Bellmann: Programmes Director
Pedro Roffe: Senior Associate, Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property
Ahmed Abdel Latif: Senior Programme Manager, Innovation, Technology and
Intellectual Property
Daniella Allam: Junior Programme Officer, Innovation, Technology and Intellectual
Property
Alessandro Marongiu: Research Assistant, Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Acknowledgments
The author is grateful to Carsten Fink (WIPO), Allison Mages (GE Corporate), Eric Lane (McKenna
Long & Aldridge LLP), Ahmed Abddel Latif and Pedro Roffe (ICTSD) for very helpful comments on
an earlier version of the paper. He wishes also to thank Hélène Dernis (OECD), Tony Clayton, Sean
Dennehey, Rachelle Harris and Gill Price (UK IPO), Geoff Sadlier and Kim Hindle (IP Australia),
Elias Collette and Rashid Nikzad (Canada IPO), Noa Amit (Israel Patent Office), Michael Bowman
and Arleen Zank (Wayfinder Digital) for their invaluable help in collecting the data. Comments
by participants at the dialogue organized by ICTSD in Geneva, on 22 November 2012 have all
improved this work. Simone Pomari provided excellent research assistance.


This paper has been produced under ICTSD’s Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and
Sustainable Energy and the Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property.
ICTSD wishes gratefully to acknowledge the support of its core and thematic donors, including:
the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency (SIDA); the Netherlands Directorate-General of Development Cooperation
(DGIS); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Danida; the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of
Finland; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.


Antoine Dechezleprêtre is a Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate
Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science.


The views expressed in this publication are the author’s personal views and do not necessarily
reflect the views of any institution he is affiliated with, nor the views of ICTSD’s funding
institutions.


For more information about ICTSD’s Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual
Property visit our website at http://ictsd.org/programmes/ip/


ICTSD welcomes feedback and comments to this document. These can be sent to Ahmed Abdel
Latif (aabdellatif@ictsd.ch).


Citation: Dechezleprêtre, Antoine; (2013); Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical
Analysis; ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property; Issue Paper No.
37; International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva, Switzerland, www.
ictsd.org


Copyright © ICTSD, 2013. Readers are encouraged to quote this material for educational and
non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial-No-Derivative Works 3.0 License. To view a copy
of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to
Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, US.


ISSN 1684-9825




iiiICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


TABLE OF CONTENTS


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS iv
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES v
FOREWORD vi
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY viii
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. OVERVIEW OF THE FAST-TRACK SYSTEMS 3
2.1 UK IPO 3
2.2 Australia’sIPO 3


2.3 Korean IPO 3
2.4 JapanPatentOffice 3


2.5 USPTO 3
2.6 IsraelPatentOffice 4


2.7 Canada IPO 4
2.8 Brazil IPO 4
2.9 China’sIPO 4


3. HOW MANY PATENTS HAVE GONE THROUGH
THE FAST-TRACKING PROGRAMMES? 6


3.1 DistributionofPatentsbyPatentOffice 6
3.2 Understanding the Low Usage Rate of Fast-Tracking Programmes 7
3.3 Are Fast-Track Green Patents Crowding Out Other Patents? 8
4. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAST-TRACK PATENTS 9
4.1 Distribution by Technology Type 9
4.2 Time-to-Grant Compared to Regular Procedures 10
4.3 The Value of Fast-Track Patents 11
4.4 Knowledge Spillovers From Fast-Track Patents 12
5. AN ANALYSIS OF FAST-TRACKING PROGRAMME USERS 13
5.1 Nationality of Applicants 13
5.2 Fast-TrackPatentsinCompanies’PatentPortfolios 14
5.3 TheSpecificitiesofFast-TrackProgrammeUsers 16
6. CONCLUSION 19
ENDNOTES 20
REFERENCES 22
ANNEX 1 – DISTRIBUTION OF PATENTS BY TECHNOLOGY 23
ANNEX 2 – RESULTS OF THE ECONOMETRIC ANALYSES 26
ANNEX 3 – NATIONALITY OF APPLICANTS 27




iv A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
CCS Carbon capture and storage


CIPO Canadian Intellectual Property Office


CO2 Carbon dioxide


EPO European Patent Office


INPI Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property


IP Intellectual Property


IPO Intellectual Property Office


JPO Japanese Patent Office


KIPO Korean Intellectual Property Office


LED Light-emitting diode


PATSTAT EPO Worldwide Patent Statistical Database


R&D Research and Development


SIPO China’s State Intellectual Property Office


USPC United States Patent Classification


USPTO United States Patent and Trademark Office




vICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


LIST OF TABLES, BOXES AND FIGURES
Figure 1: Distribution of patents by technology


Figure 2: Nationality of patent applicants


Figure 3: Inventors’ country of residence (USPTO)


Figure 4: Number of fast-track patents per patent applicant


Figure 5: Share of fast-track procedures in the patent portfolio


Figure 6: Fast-track users and non-users in terms of revenue and assets


Figure 7: Asset growth of systematic fast-track users, occasional users and non-users


Figure 8: Revenue of systematic fast-track users, occasional users and non-users


Table 1: Description of green patent fast-track programmes


Table 2: Number of patents under each of the fast-track programmes


Table 3: Number of annual patents in the fast-track programmes as a share of green and total
patents


Table 4: Time-to-grant in fast-track programmes compared with regular examination




vi A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


FOREWORD


Addressing climate change requires the large-scale development and diffusion of technologies to
bring about the required changes to our patterns of production, consumption and energy use.
In 2010, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established a
Technology Mechanism to accelerate the development and transfer of technologies for climate
change mitigation and adaptation. Efforts are now underway to make this Technology Mechanism
fully operational.


However, the issue of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has remained one of the most contested
in this arena. While it continues to be raised in the meetings of UNFCCC bodies, there has been no
agreement on how to address it. Discussions too often tend to pit those who believe that IPRs are
inherently a significant barrier to the transfer of climate change technologies against those who can
only conceive them as incentives for climate technology innovation and as a sine qua non condition
for any subsequent technology transfer and diffusion.


In September 2012, the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) – the policy arm of the Technology
Mechanism – forwarded a report on its activities and deliberations to the 18th UNFCCC Conference
of the Parties (COP), held in Doha, which identified IPRs “as an area for which clarity would be
needed on its role in the development and transfer of climate technologies based upon evidence on
a case by case basis.”


A similar approach has, in fact, guided the work of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development (ICTSD) in this area since the publication of the seminal paper by the late John Barton
on Intellectual Property and Access to Clean Technologies in Developing Countries (2007) and the
report on Patents and Clean Energy published with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which became important milestones in the policy research
on these issues. Since then, we have strived to address knowledge gaps, in particular at the level
of empirical research and analysis, and clarify policy options that would help governments and
other stakeholders better grasp the complexities and nuances of a multi-faceted issue that defies
simplistic categorizations.


It is with this spirit in mind that we thought it would be timely to have a closer look at the measures
taken by a number of countries, in recent years, to fast-track “green” patent applications. These
measures allow applications to be examined and granted at a faster pace than regular patent
applications.


In effect, starting 2009, a number of mainly industrialised countries – including the United Kingdom,
the United States, Australia, Korea, Japan, Israel and Canada – have implemented fast-tracking
measures and were more recently joined by emerging economies, such as Brazil and China. However,
to date, no in-depth empirical analysis has examined these measures and their effects.


How many patents have been filed under the various fast-tracking schemes? Which technologies
are mostly concerned? Do the programmes significantly reduce the time from filing the patent to it
being granted, compared to regular examination procedures? What type of company is most likely
to make use of the fast-tracking procedure? Do the programmes encourage the diffusion of green
technological knowledge? These were some of the questions identified for the research project
undertaken by Antoine Dechezleprêtre, a Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute on Climate
Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), with
previous experience in collecting and studying patent data in relation to renewable energies. For
this paper, the analysis of patent data was complemented by interviews with a number of patent
attorneys and intellectual property professionals carried out by the author.




viiICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


This paper is thus the first study to empirically analyse green patent fast-tracking programmes and
to examine whether these programmes may help the diffusion of green technologies. After pointing
out the main differences among the approaches made by different countries, in particular the
different definitions of what constitutes a “green” patent application, the paper presents several
key findings.


First, despite a low participation in the programmes, which reflects the strong incentive for patent
applicants to keep their patents in the examination process for as long as possible, there is a clear
demand for fast-tracking procedures, in particular from small but fast-growing start-up companies in
the green technology sector. Second, climate change-related technologies (in particular renewable
energy technologies) represent the vast majority of patents in the fast-tracking programmes. Third,
the time from application to grant has been effectively reduced by up to 75% for patents entering
the accelerated procedure. Fourth, fast-track patents are of higher commercial value than other
green patents that were filed at the same time but did not request accelerated examination.
Finally, the analysis of patent citation data shows that fast-tracking programmes have accelerated
the diffusion of knowledge in green technologies in the short run (during the first years following
the publication of the patents), but whether this effect will be the same in the long run remains an
open question.


In addition to these important findings, the author highlights a number of questions that could be
addressed by future research. In particular, he underlines the need for more information about the
licensing practices of companies using fast-tracking programmes, as this would enable a better
understanding of the extent to which these programmes accelerate the diffusion of green-patented
technologies through licensing, in particular to firms and institutions in developing countries.


Given the urgency of addressing environmental challenges, including climate change, the effects of
fast- tracking programmes appear encouraging, particularly with regard to accelerating technology
diffusion in the short run, though, as it has been mentioned, further research is needed to understand
the longer-term effects and licensing practices.


More importantly, the fast-tracking programmes for “green” patent applications raise broader
questions about the overall coherence and unity of the patent system. Are these programmes the
start of a parallel patent system for green technologies? Should they be applied across the board
and not be restricted to “green” technologies – as suggested by the author of the paper – as is
the case for the EPO, which has an accelerated examination procedure that any applicant can
request? Can the patent system remain technologically “neutral” or does it run the risk of greater
fragmentation when faced with multiple demands for the differentiated treatment of specific
sectors and technologies? Are these fast-tracking programmes ultimately a reflection of the capacity
of the system to respond to new public policy challenges? Wouldn’t such a capacity of adaptation
also require further consideration of specific measures in the context of the system to promote
the transfer and dissemination of technological knowledge? All these are open questions that an
increasingly globalized patent system has to tackle.


I hope that the findings of this study on fast-tracking programmes for green patent applications
will be useful for global and national efforts seeking to encourage green innovation as well as the
transfer and diffusion of green technologies.


Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
Chief Executive, ICTSD




viii A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
By the end of 2011, seven intellectual property offices around the world had implemented
programmes to fast track “green” patent applications: Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea,
the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). This issue paper presents the first empirical
analysis of these programmes. Its objective is to provide an up-to-date picture of the green
patent fast-track programmes and to understand whether the schemes may help accelerate the
diffusion of clean technologies.


Participation


Over the last three years, over 5,000 patent applications have requested accelerated examination
under the various programmes. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has had
the highest number of requests (3,533). We find that only a small share of the average annual
number of green patents filed in each of the patent offices request accelerated examination.
The participation rate is very low in Australia, Canada, Japan and Korea (between 1% and 2% of
green patents) and significantly higher in the US (8%), Israel (13%) and in the UK (20%). This low
participation rate was to be expected, since patent applicants have a strong incentive to keep
their applications in the examination process (i.e. not granted) for as long as possible. However,
the high participation rate in the UK shows that there is a demand for this type of mechanism,
and that participation could be enhanced in many patent offices by increasing communication
about the programmes.


Technology distribution


Climate change-related technologies (in particular renewable energy technologies) represent
the vast majority of patents in the fast-tracking programmes. The main technologies requesting
accelerated examination are wind power in the US and carbon capture and storage in Australia and
Canada. Other environmental technologies – such as recycling or pollution control technologies
– represent around 20% of patent applications, except in Israel where 30% of patent applications
cover water-saving technologies.


Time-to-grant


Empirical evidence shows that fast-tracking programmes reduce the examination process by
several years compared to patents going through the normal examination procedure. Depending
on the patent office, the time from the first application to the grant of a patent is reduced by 42%
to 75% for patents entering the accelerated procedure.


Value of patents


Using several commonly used measures of patent value, this study found that fast-track patents
were of significantly higher value than other green patents that were filed at the same time
but did not request accelerated examination. Fast-track patents are filed in more countries on
average, are more likely to be filed in all major patent offices (EPO, JPO and USPTO), and include
more claims. These results suggest that applicants request accelerated examination for patents of
high value that may be the subject of early commercial interest from potential business partners.


Green technological knowledge diffusion


Using citations to patents as a measure of knowledge spillovers, we found that fast-track patents
received more than twice as many citations in the same time period, when compared with patents
filed in the same month, of similar value but not fast-tracked. Thus, we found strong evidence
that green patent fast-tracking programmes have accelerated the diffusion of technological
knowledge in green technologies in the short run (during the first years following the publication
of the patents). Given the urgency of addressing environmental challenges, including climate




ixICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


change, this result is encouraging, but whether this effect will be the same in the long run
remains an open question.


Programme users


72% of applicants have requested accelerated examination for a single patent and only 7% requested
accelerated examination for five patents or more. Compared to companies that do not request
accelerated examination, fast-track users tend to have smaller revenues and faster-growing
assets. This shows that fast-tracking programmes seem to be particularly appealing to start-up
companies in the green technology sector that are currently raising capital but still generating
small revenue. In addition, domestic applicants are overrepresented among programme users,
suggesting that foreign applicants may be unaware of the programmes and that applicants may
only want to expedite the first application, which is usually filed in their home country.




1 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


1. INTRODUCTION
In the past few years, promoting environmentally
friendly innovation has become a key priority
for national and international environmental
policy. Green innovation is seen by governments
not only as an essential means to tackle
environmental issues and promote sustainable
development, but also as a potential driver
of economic growth, especially in a time of
economic downturn. Indeed, environment-
related industries such as renewable energy
generation are some of the few sectors of
the economy that still experience significant
growth.


Against this background, a number of national
intellectual property offices around the world
have recently put in place measures to fast track
“green” patent applications. These include
Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, the
UK, and the US.1 More recently, the Brazilian
National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI)
and China’s State Intellectual Property Office
(SIPO) have launched similar programmes.2 The
common objective of these schemes is to allow
patents covering green technologies to be
examined as a matter of priority. Consequently,
the time needed to obtain a granted patent
could be significantly reduced,3 from several
years to just a few months.


There are several advantages to a reduced
examination process. It allows patent appli-
cants to start licensing their technologies
sooner, thereby reducing the time to reach
the market. Possessing a granted patent may
also help start-up companies to raise private
capital (Lane, 2012). For these reasons,
green patent fast-track schemes have been
expected to accelerate the diffusion of clean
technologies.4 However, an early grant may not
always be in the interest of patent applicants,
who may prefer to wait until the market for
the technology develops before requesting
a grant and incurring the associated costs.
Therefore, whether fast-tracking programmes
are successful in practice needs to be examined
in light of empirical evidence.


With the earliest green patent fast-track
programme now in place for three years, it is
possible to provide a first empirical analysis
of the fast-tracking procedures. The purpose
of this study is to provide such an analysis,
based on data from Australia, Canada, Israel,
Japan, Korea, the UK and the US.5 In order
to analyse the characteristics of fast-track
patents and companies that resort to these
programmes, data sets were assembled from
the various patent offices and combined with
the PATSTAT worldwide patent database and
the ORBIS financial database. The data analysis
was complemented by interviews with patent
attorneys and IP professionals.


The objective of this paper is to provide an up-
to-date picture of the green patent fast-track
programme landscape and to examine whether
these programmes may help the diffusion
of clean technologies. The study provides
answers to the following questions: How many
patents have been filed under the various fast-
tracking schemes? What technologies are mostly
concerned? Do the programmes significantly
reduce the time from filing the patent to it
being granted, compared to regular examination
procedures? What type of company is most likely
to make use of the fast-tracking procedure? Do
the programmes encourage the diffusion of
clean technological knowledge?


This paper is the first study to empirically
analyse green patent fast-tracking procedures.
To the best of our knowledge, no empirical
analysis has been conducted so far, although
some aggregate statistics have been made
available by several patent offices. Lane (2012)
and Patton (2012) offer an analysis of green
patent fast-tracking programmes from a legal
point of view.


Three results stand out from our analysis. First,
despite a low participation in the programmes,
which reflects the strong incentive for patent
applicants to keep their patents in the
examination process (i.e. not granted) for as




2ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


long as possible, there is a clear demand for
fast-tracking procedures, in particular from
small but fast-growing start-up companies in
the green technology sector. Second, fast-
tracking programmes seem to keep their
promises. The time from application to grant
is reduced by up to 75% for patents entering
the accelerated procedure. Finally, the analysis
of patent citation data shows that fast-tracking
programmes have accelerated the diffusion
of knowledge in green technologies during
the first years following the publication of
the patents.


The paper is organized as follows: Section 2
provides a brief overview of the fast-tracking
programmes currently in place. Section 3
presents some basic statistics about the
number of patents that have requested
accelerated examination so far and provides
some explanation for the limited participation
in the programmes. Section 4 analyses the
characteristics of the fast-track patents,
including their technological distribution, time-
to-grant and value. In Section 5, we examine the
characteristics of fast-track patent applicants.
Section 6 offers some concluding remarks.




3 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


2. OVERVIEW OF THE FAST-TRACK SYSTEMS


Green patent fast-track schemes have been
implemented in nine countries so far. This
section briefly describes each of these
schemes.6


2.1 UK IPO


The first green patent fast-track scheme was
put in place by the UK in May 2009, in the
context of the run-up to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) conference in Copenhagen, which
was expected to give birth to the successor
of the Kyoto protocol. In order to have their
patent considered for expedited examination,
the applicant must submit a letter explaining
why the invention is environmentally friendly.
The IPO does not require evidence for this
“environmental friendliness” but states it will
reject clearly inappropriate inventions.7 There
is no formal process requirement for the patent
and no additional fee is required. According
to the UK IPO, patents can be expected to
be granted in nine months, compared to two
to three years for the normal examination
procedure.8


2.2 Australia’s IPO


Australia’s green patent fast-tracking pro-
gramme started in September 2009. As in
the UK, there is no formal definition of
what constitutes a green patent. Applicants
must simply provide a statement that the
technology has some environmental benefits.
Examination of applications under the
programme is expected to begin within four
to eight weeks after filing the request for
expedited examination and no additional fee
is required.


2.3 Korean IPO


In October 2009, the Korean Intellectual
Property Office (KIPO) launched a “super-
accelerated examination system for green
technology.” KIPO states that a first office
action will be issued within one month of the
request. Contrary to the UK and Australia,


only technologies funded or accredited by
the Korean government – or mentioned in
relevant government environmental laws –
are eligible for expedited treatment under
the super-accelerated examination system.
Technologies for which all applicants can
request accelerated examination include
noise prevention, water quality, air pollution
prevention, waste disposal, livestock waste
management, recycling and sewage. Other
green technologies, including renewable
energy, carbon emissions reduction, energy-
efficient transportation, and LEDs are eligible
only if the invention has “received financial
support or certification from the government.”9
In addition to this requirement, applicants
must submit results of a prior art search along
with a request for fast-track examination.
These features limit participation in the
Korean scheme.


2.4 Japan Patent Office


The Japan Patent Office (JPO) launched its
programme to accelerate the examination of
“Green-technology related applications” in
November 2009. The technologies must be
of a kind “that has an energy-saving effect
and contributes to CO2 reduction.” Applicants
must provide the patent office with “a short
description that explains that the claimed
invention has an advantage in reducing
consumption, reducing CO2 and the like in a
reasonable manner” and must conduct a prior
art search and a comparison of the claimed
invention to the closest prior art. This trans-
fers part of the patent office’s work onto
the patent applicant. Under the programme,
applicants should receive a first office action
in about two months.


2.5 USPTO


The United States Patent and Trademark
Office launched a Green Technology Pilot
Program in November 2009. The programme
was initially limited to applications falling
under one of the US Patent Classification
(USPC) codes considered to cover “green




4ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


technologies.” These USPC technology classes
included alternative energy production,
energy conservation, environmentally friendly
farming, and environmental purification,
protection and remediation. However, after
a few months the USPTO realized that the
classification requirement was too restrictive
and decided to replace it with a simple
statement as to why the invention covers
a “green technology.” This may include
applications pertaining to environmental
quality, energy conservation, renewable
energy or greenhouse gas emissions
reduction. In addition to these subject matter
requirements, the USPTO also imposes some
restrictions on the number of claims made in
the patent.10 The examination of applications
accepted into the Green Technology Pilot
begins immediately, instead of having to wait
for two to three years.


The USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program
closed in early 2012, after the 3,500th


application was received under the scheme.
However, other accelerated examination
options applicable to all technologies are
still available for green patents, including the
Prioritized Examination Program (Track I), the
Patent Prosecution Highway, the Accelerated
Examination Program and a petition based on
the applicant’s age or health.


2.6 Israel Patent Office


Israel’s fast-tracking programme was launched
in December 2009. Israel’s Patent Office
allowed green patents to receive priority
examination, a procedure usually available only
when infringement is suspected. The subject
matter requirement is very broad: to request
accelerated examination, the applicant must
simply provide an explanation as to why
the invention helps advance environmental
protection. The extra fees normally required
for priority examination are not needed for
green patents. After qualifying under the
programme, these green patent applications
are examined within three months.


2.7 Canada IPO


The Canadian Intellectual Property Office
(CIPO) launched its fast-track programme for
green patent applications in March 2011. To
benefit from the programme, applicants must
make a declaration stating that the invention
could “help resolve or mitigate negative
environmental impacts or help conserve the
natural environment.” No additional fee is
required. Under the fast-track programme,
the applicant will receive a first office action
within two months instead of two to three
years.


2.8 Brazil IPO


Brazil was the first emerging economy to
launch a green patent fast-track programme. In
April 2012, the National Institute of Industrial
Property (INPI) launched a pilot programme to
accelerate green patent applications. The pilot
programme will be limited to the first 500
petitions granted. Eligible green technologies
fall under the following categories: alternative
energy, transportation, energy conservation,
waste management and agriculture.11 An
additional fee of roughly USD 500 for
“strategic priority examination” is required.
The goal of the programme is to reduce the
period of examination of patent applications
related to green technologies to less than two
years. The average examination time in Brazil
is five years and four months.


2.9 China’s IPO


China’s State Intellectual Property Office was
the last patent office to launch a green patent
fast-track programme in August 2012. Eligible
technologies must be related to energy saving,
environmental protection, new energy, new
energy vehicles, low-carbon technology and
resource-saving technology. Interestingly,
the fast-track scheme also covers some non-
environmental technologies that are deemed
crucial for China’s economic development:
new generation of information technology,




5 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


biology, high-end equipment manufacturing,
and new material. Patent applicants must
provide a search report together with
the request for accelerated examination.
Applications accepted under the programme


will be examined within one year after the
request has been approved.


Table 1 summarizes the information presented
in Section 2.


Country Starting date Technologies covered
UK May 2009 All environmentally friendly inventions


Australia September 2009 All environmentally friendly inventions


Korea October 2009 Technologies funded or accredited by the Korean
government, or mentioned in relevant government
environmental laws


Japan November 2009 Energy-saving & CO2 reduction


US December 2009* Environmental quality, energy conservation, development
of renewable energy resources, or greenhouse gas
emission reduction


Israel December 2009 All environmentally friendly inventions


Canada March 2011 All environmentally friendly inventions


Brazil April 2012 Alternative energy, transportation, energy conservation,
waste management and agriculture


China August 2012 Energy-saving technologies, environmental protection,
new energy, new energy vehicles


Table 1: Description of green patent fast-track programmes


* Note: the USPTO programme was temporary and closed after the 3,500th application was received for this scheme.


Source: author




6ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Table 2: Number of patents under each of the fast-track programmes


Source: author


3. HOW MANY PATENTS HAVE GONE THROUGH THE FAST-
TRACKING PROGRAMMES?


3.1 DistributionofPatentsbyPatentOffice


Table 2 shows the number of green patents that
went through each fast-tracking programme to
date. The numbers go from a mere 43 patents
in Australia to 3,533 patents in the US. Israel
and Canada also experienced a rather low
number of patents filed, with respectively 78
and 67 patents to date requesting accelerated
examination. The UK has had the second largest
programme so far, with 776 requests between
March 2009 and June 2012. The The Korean IPO
received 604 requests, but 158 were rejected
(in comparison, only 1% of requests at the UK
patent office were rejected). Japan received
around 200 requests in 2010, but data for 2011
and 2012 has not yet been made public.


In order to take into account the time the
programmes have been in place, Table 3
shows the annual number of requests for
each patent office. The number of requests in
Australia appears to be very small, with only
around fifteen patents per year. Japan, Korea
and the UK receive a comparable 200 to 250
requests per year. With 1,500 annual requests,
the USPTO stands out as the programme
with the highest number of requests, which
is not surprising given the number of patent


applications received by the USPTO in an
average year (see below).


To assess the success of the programmes, Table
3 further compares the number of annual fast-
track requests to the annual number of green
patents12 filed in each patent office (column
3) and to the total annual number of patent
applications filed (column 5). Two results stand
out. First, as can be expected, the number
of patents requiring accelerated examination
under the green patent programmes represent
a tiny share of total patent filings in each
patent office: between 0.05% in Australia
and 0.90% in the UK. Second, only a small
share of green patents chooses to request
accelerated examination. The figures range
from less than 1% of green patents in Australia
to over 20% in the UK. The US and Israel stand
in between with respectively 8% and 13% of
the average number of green patents filed
annually requesting accelerated examination.
The proportion is between 1% and 2% in
Canada, Japan and Korea. This suggests that
either patent applicants are unaware of the
existence of the programmes, or that it is
not always in their best interest to request
accelerated examination. We will explore this
last point in the next subsection.


Country Period of analysis Fast-trackgreen patents
Australia September 2009 – August 2012 43


Canada March 2011 – August 2012 67


UK May 2009 – June 2012 776


Israel December 2009 – September 2012 78


Japan November 2009 – December 2010 220


Korea October 2009 – June 2012 604


US December 2009 – March 2012 3,533




7 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


3.2 Understanding the Low Usage Rate of
Fast-Tracking Programmes


The analysis presented in Section 3.1 shows
that only a small share of patents eligible for
accelerated examination – between 1% and
20% depending on the patent office – actually
goes through the various programmes. An
analysis of the legal literature, complemented
with interviews with patent attorneys and IP
professionals in various sectors, may help to
understand why patent applicants frequently
choose not to make use of the fast-tracking
programmes.


As mentioned above, there are several
advantages to a reduced examination process.
First, it may allow patent applicants to
start licensing their technologies sooner,
thereby increasing the company’s revenue.
Second, possessing a granted patent can help
companies in the clean technology sector raise
private capital (Lane, 2012). Finally, granting
a patent may justify taking legal action in the
case of suspected infringement.


However, there are also some disadvantages in
accelerating the granting of a patent. To begin
with, requesting an accelerated examination
may add costs to the application for patent
offices that also require these applicants to
conduct a search report on the prior art, as
is the case at JPO. Some programmes require
additional commentary by the applicant, to
explain the differences between the prior


art and the application being prosecuted
(e.g. in Japan). Since anything an applicant
includes in an application may be used against
him in terms of construing the scope of the
application (i.e. the claims), applicants may
be wary of such requirements.


More importantly, it is not always in the
applicant’s best interest to have his patent
published or granted as soon as possible.
Indeed, patent applicants must reach a
compromise between the need to secure
patent protection as early as possible, and
the incentive to keep the design of the patent
open as long as possible.


The first aspect of this compromise is quite
intuitive. Inventors have strong incentives to
file a first (“priority”) application as soon as
possible because, until then, they have nothing
but secrecy to protect themselves from
imitators. In this context, information leakage
concerning the invention would be doubly
damageable: it would enable competitors to
use the invention legally and could prevent
the invention from being ever patented (since,
through the leakage, it has become prior
art13). Even if the secret is well kept, there
is a risk under the first-to-file rule14 that the
patent could be granted to another inventor
who had filed a prior application. Applying for
a patent alleviates these risks, as it freezes
relevant prior art at the date of application
and guarantees that the patent, once granted,
can be used to oppose any infringer.


Table 3: Number of annual patents in the fast-track programmes as a share of green and
total patents


Country
Annual


patents in FT
programmes


Annual green patents Annual total patents


# % # %


Australia 14.3 1,896 0.76% 29,480 0.05%


Canada 44.7 2,720 1.64% 36,949 0.12%


UK 258.7 1,237 20.91% 28,638 0.90%


Israel 28.4 216 13.13% 8,004 0.35%


Japan 203.7 13,741 1.48% 349,193 0.06%


Korea 219.6 11,680 1.88% 168,646 0.13%


US 1514.1 18,421 8.22% 414,362 0.36%
Note: the numbers are the author’s own calculations based on the PATSAT database


Source: author




8ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Although inventors may want to file a priority
application as early as possible, they also have
serious motives to delay the moment when their
patent will be granted as much as possible:


(i) An important advantage of a long
examination period is that it delays the
costs associated with the grant of the
patent. It also gives patent applicants
time to determine whether it is worth
requesting the grant in the first place. Since
a grant implies additional costs (renewal
fees, etc.), applicants first need to make
sure that the patent will be commercially
viable before going any further with the
grant process. A long examination period
thus has an important option value
for the applicant, which explains the
success of mechanisms such as the Patent
Cooperation Treaty (PCT). One of the key
benefits of filing a patent under the PCT
is that patent applicants then have thirty
months to decide whether they want to
proceed towards the grant of one or more
national (or regional) patents.


(ii) Another major advantage of a delayed
examination process is that it leaves
applicants with the possibility to adjust
the patent application – in particular the
list of claims – during the examination
process.15 Early grants can occur when
the invention and its market are not yet
mature, which induces opportunity costs
for the applicant. Indeed, if granted too
early, the design of the patent may not
perfectly match the final version of the
invention, thus facilitating circumvention.
To avoid such discrepancies, applicants
need to delay the moment when the
patent is granted with definitive claims.
Patent offices worldwide offer some
flexibility in this respect, through the use
of divisional applications, continuations
and reissued patents (see Dechezleprêtre
and Ménière, 2010, for an analysis of these
mechanisms).


(iii) There is also a potential issue with
the early publication of the patent.


When a patent is published, it reveals
important information about ongoing
R&D to competitors. This should provide
an incentive for applicants to delay
publication. Since patent applications
must be disclosed when granted, a
very early grant occurring before the
end of the eighteen-month period after
which patent applications are normally
published could increase the risk of
competitors being able to quickly design
competing technology. Our interviews
with IP professionals revealed however
that this is unlikely to be an issue in
practice.


The consequence of what precedes is that
patent applicants have an interest in using
fast-tracking programmes only under specif-
ic circumstances (suspicion of infringement,
capital-raising activity, securing commercial
partnerships, among others). This explains
why only a small percentage of eligible pat-
ents are found to be using this opportunity.
Since once filed, infringers will be opposed
using the date of application and not the grant
date, most applicants do in fact have an in-
centive to wait until the examination is con-
ducted under the regular procedure.


3.3 Are Fast-Track Green Patents Crowding
Out Other Patents?


A potential problem of fast-tracking program-
mes for green patent applications is that they
may delay examination of patent applications
in other technologies. An important
consequence of the compromise presented in
Section 3.2 is that most patent applicants are
actually happy to see the examination of their
patent applications postponed. If, following
Table 3, we assume that fast-tracking is
appealing for at most 20% of patents in non-
green technologies, this means that crowding-
out is likely to be an issue for only 20% of
patent applications delayed because of fast-
tracking programmes. This only represents
around 1,000 patents since 2009 worldwide,
suggesting that crowding-out is unlikely to
have been a significant issue so far.16




9 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


4. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAST-TRACK PATENTS
4.1 Distribution by Technology Type


The distribution of patents by technology type
is presented in Figure 1 for the five countries
for which detailed data could be obtained:


the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Israel.
For presentation purposes, we have grouped
patents by broad technology groups; however,
the detailed technology breakdown for each of
the five countries is presented in Annex 1.


Figure 1 – Distribution of patents by technology


United Kingdom


Canada


United States


Australia




10ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Israel


Three results stand out from the analysis of
technologies. First, despite the absence of any
strict definition of what constitutes a green
patent in most of the fast-track programmes,
nearly all patents cover environment-related
technologies.17 Second, climate change-related
technologies represent the majority of patents
in all fast-tracking programmes, with the
exception of Israel. Third, the top technologies
differ greatly across countries, reflecting
national specificities. Most patents in the US
relate to renewable energy technologies, in
particular wind and solar power. They are
followed by transport-related technologies.
However, most of these patents cover energy-
efficient technologies for internal combustion
engines and not electric and hybrid vehicles.
Interestingly, CCS is the main technology for
which accelerated examination is requested
in Australia and Canada. This can be linked to
Australia’s dependence on coal-based electricity
production and to Canada’s booming tar sand
mining industry. In Canada, CCS is followed by
biomass patents, which reflects the abundance
of biomass resources in the country. In Israel,
30% of fast-track patents cover water-related
technologies, in particular grey water reuse and
desalination technologies, which is not surprising
given Israel’s strong water scarcity problems.
In the UK, other environmental technologies –
such as recycling or water-saving technologies
– also represent a significant share of patents.


Interestingly, there are more solar patents in
the UK programme than wind patents.


4.2 Time-to-Grant Compared
to Regular Procedures


The main objective of fast-track programmes is
to accelerate the examination and the potential
grant of patents. In Table 4, we have computed
the average time from application to grant for
the fast-track patents and have compared this
to the average time-to-grant for patents that
were published during the same years but went
through the regular examination procedure.


Table 4 shows that fast-tracking programmes
have kept with their promises. In the UK, the
average time from application to grant for
patents published between 2009 and 2011 was
three years and four months. In comparison,
fast-track patents were granted within nine
months on average. This represents a 75%
reduction in the time-to-grant period. The
other patent offices for which this information
could be gathered also showed a significant,
albeit slightly smaller, reduction in the time-
to-grant period. In Canada, this period was
reduced by 68%, from 7.8 years on average to
2.5 years only.18 Australia and Israel also halved
this period. In the US, the reduction rate was
slightly lower, but we suspect this is due to the
strict initial programme rules that have since
been modified.19


Source: author




11 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


4.3 The Value of Fast-Track Patents


Do fast-track patents differ from non-fast-track
patents, in particular environmental ones? We
will investigate this issue by looking at three
different measures of patent value: the number
of countries in which each patent has been
filed (also called the family size of patents),
the likelihood of becoming a “triadic” patent
and the number of claims made in the patent.
It has been empirically demonstrated that the
number of countries in which a patent is filed is
correlated with other indicators of patent value
(see, for example, Lanjouw et al, 1998, Harhoff
et al, 2003). International patent families also
have the advantage of being rapidly available
to researchers, as patent applicants must file
all foreign extensions of a patent at most thirty
months after the first (priority) patent has been
filed. Another widely used measure of patent
value is to focus on so-called triadic patents,
i.e. patents taken out in all three of the world’s
major patent offices: the European Patent
Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office and the
United States Patents and Trademark Office.
Triadic patents have been used extensively as
a way to focus on high-value patents (Dernis,
Guellec and van Pottelsberghe, 2001; Dernis and
Khan, 2004).


In order to compare fast-track patents with
patents that did not participate in the
programmes, we created a control group
comprised of all the patents filed in the same
patent offices20 during the same years as fast-
track patents. We then carried out econometric
analysis to compare the value of fast-track


patents and that of otherwise similar but
“normal-track” patents. The results from the
econometric analysis are presented in greater
detail in Annex 2.


We consistently found a significant difference
between the values of fast-track and regular
patents. Fast-track patents are filed in 15%
more countries on average than non-fast-track
patents. This represents an increase from 2.5
countries to 2.83 countries on average. The
results were even more compelling when we
looked at triadic patents, which represent
the high-end of patent distribution in terms
of commercial value. Here we found that fast-
track patents were up to 56% more likely to be
filed in all major patent offices than non-fast-
track patents. While an average 15% of patents
are filed in the three major patent offices, the
(conditional) likelihood that a fast-track patent
will be a “triadic” patent jumps to over 20%.
Finally, when we looked at the number of claims
made in the grant publication, we found that
fast-track patents had 31% more claims than
non-fast-track patents. While patents published
in the US list thirteen claims on average, this
rises to seventeen for fast-track patents.21


Overall, our results consistently show that fast-
track patents are of higher value than equivalent
patents going through the normal procedure.
Importantly, these results hold when we included
patent applicant fixed effects,22 meaning that
among a company’s patent portfolio, fast-track
patents are of higher value than the average
patent. This suggests that patent applicants –
who have private information on the value of


Country All patents Fast-track patents Reduction in time-to-grant
Australia 3.7 years 1.9 years 49%


Canada 7.8 years 2.5 years 68%


UK 3.3 years 0.8 years 75%


US 2.8 years 1.6 years 42%


Israel 5.4 years 2.8 years 48%


Japan 6.4 years n.a. n.a.


Korea 2.4 years n.a. n.a.


Table 4: Time–to-grant for fast-track programmes compared with the regular examination
process


Source: author




12ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


their patent applications – request accelerated
examination for patent applications that are of
higher value, are more commercially viable and
thus may have been the subject of commercial
interest from potential business partners.23


4.4 Knowledge Spillovers From
Fast-Track Patents


One of the main objectives of fast-tracking
programmes is to accelerate the diffusion of
green technological knowledge in the economy.


In this regard, patent citations offer an
attractive way to analyse knowledge diffusion.
When a patent is filed, it must include citations
to previous patents upon which the inventor has
built to develop the new technology. Therefore,
patent citations have been used intensively
to measure knowledge flows (see for example
Jaffe et al., 1993; Peri, 2005).


Here, we implemented a similar econometric
approach as in Section 4.3 to determine whether
there was a systematic difference in the number
of citations received between fast-track patents
and normal-track patents. To deal with one of
the most common problems associated with


patent citations, we excluded self-citations by
inventors. We also ran regressions where we
restricted citations to those made by patent
applicants only, thus excluding citations added
by patent examiners, which might not capture
knowledge flows. Note that patent citations
not only capture knowledge spillovers but also
patent value, so our regressions include controls
for patent value such as family size.


Compared with patents filed in the same month,
of similar value but not fast-tracked, fast-track
patents received twice as many citations in the
same time period. The estimated impact of fast-
tracking on forward citations ranges between
50% and 150%, depending on whether citations
made by examiners are included or not. Thus,
there appears to be strong evidence that green
patent fast-tracking programmes accelerate the
diffusion of knowledge in green technologies
in the short run – i.e. during the first years
following the publication of the patents. It will
be interesting to whether this effect remains
in the long run, but the short-term impact is
compelling. Given the urgency of addressing
environmental issues, including climate change,
this result is an encouraging feature of the fast-
tracking programmes.




13 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


In this section, the characteristics of companies
resorting to fast-tracking programmes will be
examined.


5.1 Nationality of Applicants


We were able to obtain the nationality of
applicants for the UK and the US programmes.
The distribution of applicant countries is shown
in Figure 2. A more detailed breakdown is
available in Annex 3. As can be seen from Figure
2, the majority of requests for accelerated
examination come from domestic applicants.
UK-based applicants represent 76% of requests
at the UK IP office, while US-based applicants
are responsible for 86% of requests at the
USPTO. Foreign applicants are mainly from OECD
countries, most notably US applicants in the
UK and applicants from Japan and South Korea
in the US. Very few applicants from emerging
economies can be found. For example, Chinese
applicants only filed six requests in the UK and
four requests in the US.


When we compared applicants requesting
accelerated examination with all applicants


for green patents at the UK and the US patent
offices in the last few years, we found that
domestic applicants were much more likely to
participate in the fast-tracking programmes
than foreign applicants were. 62% of green
patent applications at the UK patent office
were filed by domestic applicants. At the
USPTO, domestic applicants filed only 50% of
green patent applications. This suggests that
foreign applicants might be unaware of the
existence of these programmes. This is also
likely the result of applicants only wanting
to expedite the first application, which is
usually filed in their home country. That first
application filed will probably be prosecuted
by the person who originally drafted the case.
Since that practitioner may have the best
overall context for the patent application,
he/she may be in a better position to make the
most strategic amendments.24 This potential
explanation is supported by the observation
that, among all the US and UK fast-track
patents, we did not find a single pair of
patents belonging to the same international
patent family.


5. AN ANALYSIS OF FAST-TRACKING PROGRAMME USERS


Figure 2 – Nationality of patent applicants


United Kingdom United States


Source: author


US


726




14ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Figure 3 – Inventors’ country of residence (USPTO)


United Kingdom United States


Multinational companies very often let
their patent filings be handled by the local
subsidiary. Therefore, looking at the location
of applicants may fail to uncover all cross-
border patent transfers. To mitigate this
issue, we examined the country of residence
of inventors instead, as reported on patent
applications. The breakdown is shown on
Figure 3 (a more detailed breakdown is
available in Annex 3).


The picture does not change much for the UK,
although it shows a larger share of US-based
inventors than suggested by the applicants’
data. Interestingly, only 77% of inventors of
patents in the USPTO programme reside in the
US (as compared to 86% of applicants). Over 5%
of inventors are from Germany. Importantly,
India and China appear in the top five foreign
inventor countries, with respectively twenty-
one and fifteen patent applications, suggesting


that the patents are being transferred by
Chinese and Indian multinational companies.


5.2 Fast-Track Patents in Companies’ Patent
Portfolios


The 1,304 UK and US-published patents on
which detailed data is available were filed
by 531 applicants. This means that applicants
requested accelerated examination for 2.4
patents on average (the median applicant
filed one request). 72% of applicants
requested accelerated examination for
a single patent and only 7% requested
accelerated examination for five patents
or more (see Figure 4). The top companies
include Ford (the car manufacturer), General
Electric, Bridgelux (a lighting company),
ConocoPhillips (a chemical engineering
company) and Mistubishi Heavy Industries
(mostly for wind energy patents).




15 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


Figure 4 – Number of fast-track patents per patent applicant


Figure 5 – Share of fast-track procedures in the patent portfolio


Source: author


Source: author


What share of their patent portfolio do fast-
track patents represent? In Figure 5, we
showed the proportion of patents in their
current portfolio for which companies25
have requested accelerated examination.
We found that, while only 20% of companies


requested accelerated examination for some
of the patents in their portfolio, 80% of
them requested accelerated procedure for
all of their green patents. The procedure
appears to be a systematic strategy for most
applicants.




16ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Figure 6 – Fast-track users and non-users in terms of revenue and assets


5.3TheSpecificitiesofFast-Track
Programme Users


The fact that most applicants systematically
choose to request the accelerated procedure
while only a few use it on an ad-hoc basis
suggests that companies joining the pro-
gramme might differ in some manner from
companies that do not. In order to look at
this issue, the data on patents filed at the
UK IP office was matched with the ORBIS
worldwide financial information database.
This allowed us to obtain detailed information
on the patent applicants, including assets,
revenue and employment. Users of the
programme (for at least one patent) were
then compared with non-users (as defined
by all other applicants of green patents26 at
the UK IP office) in terms of revenue, assets,


number of employees and size of the patent
portfolio. We found evidence that fast-track
users differ statistically from non-users in
that they tend to have smaller revenues and
smaller but faster-growing assets. In other
words, the fast-tracking programme seems
to appeal particularly to start-up companies
in the green technology sector that are
currently raising capital but still generating
small revenue. Figure 6 illustrates this result
by plotting the population of green patent
holders against revenue and assets and
distinguishing between users and non-users27
of the fast-tracking programme. This shows
that fast-track users are overrepresented in
the lower-left corner of the graph. The reason
for this is that patents are more critical to the
survival of start-up companies than to that of
larger, established companies.


Source: author




17 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


These differences seem to be particularly
high when comparing companies that use
the programme for all of their patents with
occasional users and non-users. The comparison
is presented in Figures 7 and 8 for asset growth


and revenue respectively. These dispersion
diagrams represent the spread of values in the
distribution of the variable for the three groups
considered. The grey box shows the values
under which 50% of the distribution falls.


Figure 7 – Asset growth of systematic fast-track users, occasional users and non-users


Figure 8 – Revenue of systematic fast-track users, occasional users and non-users


Source: author




18ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Figures 7 and 8 clearly show that companies
that systematically resort to fast-tracking
programmes have a higher growth rate of
assets and lower revenue than non-users.
Occasional users stand somewhat in the


middle in terms of revenue and are similar
to non-users in terms of asset growth.
These results confirm that the fast-tracking
programme is particularly relevant for green
start-up companies.




19 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


6. CONCLUSION
In this paper, we conducted the first empirical
analysis of the green patent fast-tracking
programmes that have recently been put in
place in various patent offices worldwide. For
this purpose, we assembled detailed data from
Australia, Canada, Israel, the UK and the US,
along with some more aggregated data from
Japan and Korea.


Only a small share of green patents request
accelerated examination. However, there is an
important discrepancy across patent offices:
the numbers range from less than 1% of green
patents in Australia to over 20% in the UK. The
participation rate is very low in Canada, Japan
and Korea (less than 2% of green patents) and
significantly higher in the US (8%) and Israel
(13%). However, as our interviews with patent
attorneys reveal, the participation rate for green
patent fast-tracking programmes cannot be
expected to reach 100%, since patent applicants
usually have a strong incentive to keep their
patent applications in the examination process
for as long as possible. However, the high
participation rate in the UK (20%) shows that
there is a demand for this type of mechanism
from patent applicants and that participation
could be enhanced in other patent offices,
maybe by increasing communication about
the programmes. In particular, it appears that
domestic applicants are vastly overrepresented
in the fast-track programmes, suggesting that
participation of foreign applicants might be
enhanced.


The data assembled for this paper suggests
that fast-tracking programmes do keep their
promises. The time from application to grant has
been reduced by up to 75% for patents entering
the accelerated process. More importantly,
analysis of patent citation data shows that
fast-tracking programmes have accelerated the
diffusion of knowledge in green technologies
over the first few years that followed the
publication of the fast-track patents. Whether
this effect will remain in the long run, however,
remains to be seen.


The main advantage of fast-tracking programmes
is that they bring a welcome differentiation


to patent examination procedures. Patent
applicants who can benefit strongly from an
early grant can choose to request accelerated
examination.28 The data shows that this mostly
applies to fast-growing start-up companies
in the “green tech” industry, who can use a
granted patent to raise capital or to license
their technology and start making revenue.
Other patent applicants who prefer to keep
learning about how the market for their
technology develops before requesting a grant
can do so by not opting in.


In fact, similar differentiation mechanisms not
restricted to green technologies already exist in
several patent offices. For example, the EPO has
an accelerated examination procedure in place
that applicants can request at no additional
cost. Under the USPTO’s three-track prioritized
examination system (which is not yet fully
implemented), applicants can choose between
three examination procedures: prioritized
examination, “normal” examination, and
delayed examination. The Korean Intellectual
Property Office has a similar system in place.29
Should patent offices, then, restrict such
programmes to green patents only? Given the
urgency of environmental issues, it might make
sense to prioritize green patents for the time
being, but we believe that they should ideally
be open to all types of technologies, for at least
two reasons. First, it is sometimes difficult to
foresee the environmental benefits of a newly
discovered technology.30 Second, accelerated
procedures open to all technologies would be
completely free of any potential crowding-out
issues, since no patent application willing to
be examined as a matter of priority could be
excluded from the scheme.


One of the main limitations of this analysis
is that we have not been able to assess to
what extent fast-tracking programmes have
accelerated the diffusion of green patented
technologies, in particular through licensing. A
survey of programme users could help answer
this question and refine our understanding of
accelerated examination. This is left for future
research.




20ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


ENDNOTES


1 In the US, the programme was designed to be temporary and was closed after the 3,500th
application under the scheme was received.


2 The European Patent Office (EPO) does not have a fast-tracking programme for green patent
applications. However, the EPO has an accelerated examination procedure that is open to all
patent applications irrespective of the technology covered.


3 Note that accelerated procedures have not been specifically put in place for green patents. Such
procedures exist in various patent offices. See Tran (2012) for an overview of these procedures.


4 Many studies have documented a strong growth in the number of patent applications protecting
green technologies, suggesting that patents are considered as a useful means of protection
against imitation in this sector (see Dechezleprêtre et al. 2011).


5 We do not have comprehensive data for all patent offices. The highest quality data could be
obtained for the UK, Canada, Australia and the US. The most detailed results in the report are
based on data from the UK and the US patent offices.


6 This section draws heavily on Lane (2012), Patton (2012) and Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox
(2012).


7 In the empirical analysis that follows, we show that almost all fast-tracked patent applications
actually cover green technologies.


8 See UK IPO Fast grant guide, available on the IPO website.


9 For example, products developed with the help of the recent “Low-Carbon Green Growth Basic
Act” government programme are eligible for the super-accelerated examination.


10 The application must have three or fewer independent claims, twenty or fewer total claims,
and no multiple dependent claims. The application must also “claim a single invention directed
to environmental quality.”


11 Nuclear energy was explicitly excluded following the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima,
Japan, in March 2011.


12 Since each programme has its own requirements in terms of what constitutes a green patent
(see Table 1), the number of green patents filed annually is calculated differently for each
patent office to reflect the requirements of each programme.


13 In some countries, a grace period may however allow for public disclosure of an invention
(under certain conditions) without affecting the validity of a subsequent patent application up
to a set deadline.


14 In a first-to-file system, the right to be granted a patent for a given invention lies with the first
person to file a patent application for protection of that invention, regardless of the date of
actual invention.


15 Note however that an applicant must fully disclose their invention at the time of filing.


16 Crowding-out issues could be completely avoided if, as we argue in the conclusion of this paper,
accelerated examination was extended to non-green technologies.




21 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


17 An exception is for example Canada IPO patent number 2628144, which covers a “Method and
system to promote actions such as environmental and charitable actions”. Such exceptions are
very rare.


18 The period from application to grant in Canada is typically very long, as applicants have to
request the examination of the patent for the procedure to start. The examination is thus
requested at a very late stage, when applicants are certain of the economic value of the patent.
The average time from request of examination to grant for “regular” patents for the last three
fiscal years was 4.2 years. In comparison, the average time from request of examination to
grant for fast-tracked patents was 1.7 years.


19 The initial rules of the programme made patents eligible only if they had been filed before 8
December 2009. This rule was changed in November 2010, so the time-to-grant is likely to go
down as more recent data becomes available. Our detailed USPTO data, which includes time-
to-grant, only covers the first 800 patents that went through the programme.


20 We focused the analysis on UK and US patents for which we had the most detailed information.


21 The PATSTAT database does not have information on the number of claims made for UK patents.


22 Results not reported for brevity; they are available from author upon request.


23 Note that this finding might not be specific to green patents. It might be robust to all fast-track
patent applications, but in the absence of data on non-green fast-track patents, we cannot
investigate this possibility.


24 We are very grateful to Allison Mages (GE) for pointing this out.


25 Note that this analysis only includes patent applicants for which we were able to collect the
complete patent portfolio. This explains why the total number of companies is smaller in Figure
3 than in Figure 2.


26 Applicants of green patents might differ systematically from companies not involved in clean
technologies. Thus, it is important to compare fast-track users with other green patent holders
and not with the population of patent applicants. Moreover, companies in non-green sectors
cannot use the fast-tracking programmes, so they cannot help us understand why some
companies choose to use the programme.


27 Users are represented by diamond figures and non-users in grey circles.


28 As economists would put it, they self-select into the scheme.


29 Applicants can choose between Accelerated Examination (examined within three months of
filing), Regular Examination, and Customer-deferred Examination (examined within three
months of the date requested by the customer).


30 For example, GPS for road users helps save fuel by determining the shortest itinerary, but would
GPS have been considered a green technology from the outset?




22ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


REFERENCES
Dechezleprêtre, A. and Ménière, Y., 2010. International patent families: from application strategies


to statistical indicators. CERNA Working Paper.


Dernis, H., Guellec, D., and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., 2001. Using patent counts for
cross-country comparisons of technology output, pages 129–46.


Dernis, H. and Khan, M., 2004. Triadic Patent Families Methodology. OECD Science, Technology and
Industry Working Papers 2004/2, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry.


Harhoff, D., Scherer, F. M., and Vopel, K. 2003. Citations, family size, opposition and the value of
patent rights. Research Policy, 32(8):1343–63.


Jaffe, A., Tratjenberg, M., Henderson R., 1993. Geographic localization of knowledge spillovers
as evidenced by patent citations. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 108(3), pp. 577-98.


Lane, E., 2012. Building the global green patent highway: a proposal for international harmonization
of green technology fast track programs. Berkeley Technology Law Journal 27:3.


Lanjouw, J. O., Pakes, A., and Putnam, J., 1998. How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual
Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data. The Journal of Industrial
Economics, 46(4).


Patton, A., 2012. When Patent Offices Become Captain Planet: Green Technology and Accelerated
Patent Examination Programs In the United States and Abroad. Intellectual Property Brief
3, no. 3 (2012): 30-41.


Peri, G., 2005. Determinants of knowledge flows and their effect on innovation. Review of
Economics and Statistics 87 (2), 308– 22.


Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, 2012. New Global Initiatives to Accelerate Examination of
Cleantech Patent Applications. August 2012.


Tran, S., 2012. Expediting innovation. Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 36.




23 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


ANNEX 1 – DISTRIBUTION OF PATENTS BY TECHNOLOGY
Table A1 – Distribution of patents by technology – Australia


Table A2 –Distribution of patents by technology - Canada


Green technology Number of patents Share
CCS 14 32.6%


Solar 5 11.6%


Agriculture 3 7.0%


Combustion 3 7.0%


Transport 3 7.0%


Wood 3 7.0%


Others 3 7.0%


Lighting 2 4.7%


Smart grids 2 4.7%


Geothermal 2 4.7%


Hydro 1 2.3%


Wind 1 2.3%


Insulation 1 2.3%


Green technology Number of patents Share
CCS 11 14.7%


Biomass 9 12.0%


Biofuel 8 10.7%


Other 6 8.0%


Depollution 6 8.0%


Storage 4 5.3%


Waste 4 5.3%


Marine 4 5.3%


Wind 4 5.3%


Hydrogen 3 4.0%


Gas 3 4.0%


Other renewables 3 4.0%


Transport 2 2.7%


Solar 2 2.7%


Combustion 2 2.7%


Heating 1 1.3%


Efficiency 1 1.3%
Agriculture 1 1.3%


Insulation 1 1.3%




24ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Table A3 –Distribution of patents by technology – UK


Table A4 – Distribution of patents by technology - US


Green technology Number of patents Share
Wind 46 5.9%


Water 64 8.2%


Recycling 63 8.1%


Solar 56 7.2%


Energy Saving 229 29.5%


Vehicle 149 19.2%


Other 169 21.8%


Green technology Number of patents Share
Wind 214 25.63%


Solar 108 12.93%


Lighting 88 10.54%


Internal combustion engine 75 8.98%


Energy efficiency 58 6.95%
Bioengineering 42 5.03%


Storage 34 4.07%


Chemical engineering 28 3.35%


Fuel cell 19 2.28%


Electric vehicle 19 2.28%


Emissions controls 19 2.28%


Biofuel 16 1.92%


Wastewater treatment 16 1.92%


Materials 13 1.56%


Renewable 11 1.32%


Hybrid vehicle 10 1.20%


Production 10 1.20%


Fossil fuel 9 1.08%


Recycling 6 0.72%


Green building 6 0.72%


Vehicle 6 0.72%


Hydroelectric 6 0.72%


Wave 4 0.48%


Geothermal 3 0.36%


CCS 2 0.24%


Photovoltaics 2 0.24%


Fluid flow 2 0.24%
Trading & offsets 2 0.24%


Generation 1 0.12%


Distribution efficiency 1 0.12%
Roadway 1 0.12%


Fertilizer alternative 1 0.12%


Yield enhancement 1 0.12%


Liquid purification 1 0.12%
Disaster 1 0.12%




25 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


Table A5 – Distribution of patents by technology - Israel


Green technology Number of patents Share
Water 23 29.49%


Other 16 20.51%


Solar 8 10.26%


Electric vehicle 5 6.41%


Hydro 3 3.85%


Waste 3 3.85%


Energy efficiency 3 3.85%
Wind 2 2.56%


Wastewater 2 2.56%


CCS 2 2.56%


Marine 2 2.56%


Storage 2 2.56%


Internal combustion engine 1 1.28%


Materials 1 1.28%


Recycling 1 1.28%


Pollution 1 1.28%


Transport 1 1.28%


Buildings 1 1.28%


Geothermal 1 1.28%




26ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Table A7 — Patent quality


Table A8 — Knowledge diffusion
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)


Dep. Var. All forward citations Forward citations by applicants
Fast-track 1.534*** 1.536*** 1.322*** 0.559*** 0.536*** 0.562***


(0.064) (0.064) (0.069) (0.153) (0.152) (0.164)


Family size -0.004*** 0.007*** 0.036*** 0.031***


(0.001) (0.001) (0.002) (0.003)


Claims 0.015*** 0.012***


(0.000) (0.000)


Patent office X
Month FE


yes yes yes yes yes yes


Observations 2,221,075 222,107,5 849,465 2,221,075 2,2210,75 849,465


Notes: *=significant at the 10% level, **=significant at the 5% level, ***=significant at the 1% level. The dependent variable
is the number of patent offices in different countries in which a patent is filed (family size) in columns (1) and(2) and
the number of claims made by each patent in columns (5) and (6). Columns (1) and (5)are estimated by Poisson pseudo-
maximum likelihood and columns (2) and (6) are estimated by negative binomial maximum likelihood. The dependent
variable is a dummy variable that takes on the value of 1 if the patent is triadic in columns (3) and (4). Column (3) is
estimated by probit and column (4) is estimated by logit. All equations include 166 dummy variables for each office –the
application month, a dummy variable for “green” patents according to the EPO classification and a constant. Robust
standard errors are in parentheses.


Notes: *=significant at the 10% level, **=significant at the 5% level, ***=significant at the 1% level. The dependent variable
is the total number of citations received by each patent in columns (1) to (3) and the number of citations received by
each patentand made by applicants only in columns (4) to (6). All columns are estimated by Poisson pseudo-maximum
likelihood. All equations include 166 dummy variables for each office –the application month, a dummy variable for
“green” patents according to the EPO classification and a constant. Robust standard errors are in parentheses.


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Dep. Var. Family size Triadic patent Claims
Fast-track 0.151*** 0.144*** 0.278*** 0.561*** 0.312*** 0.343***


(0.029) (0.029) (0.056) (0.104) (0.015) (0.015)


Patent office X
Month FE


yes yes yes yes yes yes


Observations 2,255,141 2,255,141 2,255,141 2,255,141 850,210 850,210


ANNEX 2 – RESULTS OF THE ECONOMETRIC ANALYSES




27 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


ANNEX 3 – NATIONALITY OF APPLICANTS
Table A9 –Nationality of applicants – UK


Country Number of patents Share
UK 645 76.60%


US 107 12.71%


Norway 11 1.31%


Israel 10 1.19%


Denmark 8 0.95%


Germany 6 0.71%


Ireland 6 0.71%


Japan 5 0.59%


Singapore 4 0.48%


China 3 0.36%


Hong Kong 3 0.36%


Mexico 3 0.36%


Portugal 3 0.36%


Switzerland 3 0.36%


Taiwan 3 0.36%


Australia 2 0.24%


Belgium 2 0.24%


Finland 2 0.24%


France 2 0.24%


Mauritius 2 0.24%


Spain 2 0.24%


Sweden 2 0.24%


Czech Republic 1 0.12%


Estonia 1 0.12%


Netherlands 1 0.12%


New Zealand 1 0.12%


Russian Federation 1 0.12%


Thailand 1 0.12%


UAE 1 0.12%


Uganda 1 0.12%




28ICTSD Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property


Table A10 – Nationality of applicants – US


Country Number of patents Share
United States 726 86.84%


Japan 24 2.87%


South Korea 21 2.51%


United Kingdom 14 1.67%


Switzerland 10 1.20%


Canada 8 0.96%


Denmark 6 0.72%


Cayman Islands 5 0.60%


Austria 3 0.36%


Israel 3 0.36%


Peoples’ Republic of China 2 0.24%


Hong Kong, China 2 0.24%


Singapore 2 0.24%


Taiwan 2 0.24%


Australia 1 0.12%


Brazil 1 0.12%


France 1 0.12%


Germany 1 0.12%


Italy 1 0.12%


Luxembourg 1 0.12%


New Zealand 1 0.12%


Saudi Arabia 1 0.12%




29 A. Dechezleprêtre – Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications: An Empirical Analysis


Table A11 – Nationality of inventors – US


Table A12 – Nationality of inventors – UK


Country Number of patents Share
United States 648 77.51%


Germany 43 5.14%


India 21 2.51%


South Korea 21 2.51%


Japan 19 2.27%


Peoples' Republic of China 15 1.79%


Netherlands 14 1.67%


United Kingdom 12 1.44%


Canada 7 0.84%


Denmark 6 0.72%


Israel 6 0.72%


Taiwan 6 0.72%


Austria 4 0.48%


Spain 4 0.48%


Australia 2 0.24%


Switzerland 2 0.24%


Brazil 1 0.12%


Hong Kong, China 1 0.12%


France 1 0.12%


Luxembourg 1 0.12%


New Zealand 1 0.12%


Saudi Arabia 1 0.12%


Country Number of patents Share
UK 223 68.20%


US 74 22.63%


Germany 5 1.53%


Ireland 4 1.22%


Taiwan 3 0.92%


Australia 2 0.61%


China 2 0.61%


Mauritius 2 0.61%


Singapore 2 0.61%


South Africa 2 0.61%


Spain 2 0.61%


Canada 1 0.31%


Denmark 1 0.31%


Norway 1 0.31%


Portugal 1 0.31%


Sweden 1 0.31%


Uganda 1 0.31%




SELECTED ICTSD ISSUE PAPERS
Agriculture Trade and Sustainable Development
US Farm Policy and Risk Assistance: The Competing Senate and House Agriculture Committee Bills of July 2012. By Carl Zulauf and David Orden. Issue
Paper No. 44, 2012.
Net Food-Importing Developing Countries: Who They Are, and Policy Options for Global Price Volatility. By Alberto Valdés and William Foster. Issue
Paper No. 43, 2012.
Trade Policy Responses to Food Price Volatility in Poor Net Food-Importing Countries. By Panos Konandreas. Issue Paper No. 42, 2012.
TradePolicyOptionsforEnhancingFoodAidEffectiveness.ByEdwardClay.IssuePaperNo.41,2012.
PossibleEffectsofRussia’sWTOAccessiononAgriculturalTradeandProduction.BySergeyKiselevandRomanRomashkin.IssuePaperNo.40,2012.
Post-2013 EU Common Agricultural Policy, Trade and Development: A Review of Legislative Proposals. By Alan Matthews. Issue paper No. 39, 2011.
Improving the International Governance of Food Security and Trade. By Manzoor Ahmad. Issue Paper No. 38, 2011.
Food Reserves in Developing Countries: Trade Policy Options for Improved Food Security. By C. L. Gilbert, Issue Paper No. 37, 2011.
Global Food Stamps: An Idea Worth Considering? By Tim Josling, Issue Paper No. 36, 2011.
The Impact of US Biofuel Policies on Agricultural Price Levels and Volatility. By Bruce Babcock. Issue Paper No. 35, 2011.
Competitiveness and Development
Una Evaluación De La Ayuda Para El Comercio En La Práctica. By Ricardo Paredes. Issue Paper No. 24, 2012.
Evaluating Aid for Trade on the Groung: Lessons from Nepal. By Ratnakar Adhikari, Paras Kharel and Chandan Sapkota, Issue Paper No. 23, 2011.
Evaluating Aid for Trade on the Ground: Lessons from Cambodia. By Siphana Sok, Cambodochine Dao, Chandarot Kang and Dannet Liv. Issue Paper
No. 22, 2011.
EvaluatingAidforTradeontheGround:LessonsfromMalawi.ByJonathanSaid,JohnMcGrath,CatherineGrantandGeoffreyChapman.IssuePaper
No. 21, 2011.
EvaluatingAidforTradeEffectivenessontheGround:AMethodologicalFramework..ByRatnakarAdhikari.IssuePaperNo.20,2011.
EU Climate Policies and Developing Country Trade Vulnerability: An Overview of Carbon Leakage-Sensitive Trade Flows. By ICTSD. Issue Paper No. 19,
2011.
The Allocation of Emission Allowances Free of Charge: Legal and Economic Considerations. By I. Jegou and L. Rubini, Issue Paper No. 18, 2011.
The Role of International Trade, Technology and The Role of International Trade, Technology and Structural Change in Shifting Labour Demands in
South Africa. By H. Bhorat, C. van der Westhuizen and S.Goga. Issue Paper No. 17, 2010.
Trade Integration and Labour Market Trends in India: an Unresolved Unemployment Problem. By C.P. Chandrasekhar. Issue Paper No. 16, 2010.
The Impact of Trade Liberalization and the Global Economic Crisis on the Productive Sectors, Employment and Incomes in Mexico. By A. Puyana. Issue
Paper No. 15, 2010.
Globalization in Chile: A Positive Sum of Winners and Losers. By V. E. Tokman. Issue Paper No. 14, 2010.
PracticalAspectsofBorderCarbonAdjustmentMeasures–UsingaTradeFacilitationPerspectivetoAssessTradeCosts.BySofiaPersson.IssuePaper
No.13, 2010.
Trade, Economic Vulnerability, Resilience and the Implications of Climate Change in Small Island and Littoral Developing Economies. By Robert Read.
Issue Paper No.12, 2010.
Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of International Trade
ConflictingRulesandClashingCourts.TheCaseofMultilateralEnvironmentalAgreements,FreeTradeAgreementsandtheWTO.ByPieterJanKuijper.Issue
Paper No.10, 2010.
BurdenofProofinWTODisputeSettlement:ContemplatingPreponderanceoftheEvidence.ByJamesHeadenPfitzerandSheilaSabune.IssuePaperNo.9,2009.
Suspension of Concessions in the Services Sector: Legal, Technical and Economic Problems. By Arthur E. Appleton. Issue Paper No. 7, 2009.
Fisheries, International Trade and Sustainable Development
The Importance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to Fisheries Negotiations in Economic Partnership Agreements. By Martin Doherty. Issue Paper
No. 7, 2008.
Fisheries, Aspects of ACP-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreements: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications. By Liam Campling. Issue
Paper No. 6, 2008.
Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property
UnpackingtheInternationalTechnologyTransferDebate:FiftyYearsandBeyond.IssuePaperNo.36byPadmashreeGehlSampathandPedroRoffe,
2012. Realizing the Potential of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism. Perspectives on the Way Forward. Issue Paper No. 35 by John Barton, Padmashree
Gehl Sampath and John Mugabe, 2012.
BridgingtheGaponIntellectualPropertyandGeneticResourcesinWIPO’sIntergovernmentalCommittee(IGC).ByDavidVivas-Eugui.IssuePaperNo.
34, 2012.
TheInfluenceofPreferentialTradeAgreementsontheImplementationofIntellectualPropertyRightsinDevelopingCountries.ByErmiasTekeste
Biadgleng and Jean-Christophe Maur. Issue Paper No. 33, 2011.
Intellectual Property Rights and International Technology Transfer to Address Climate Change: Risks, Opportunities and Policy Options. By K. E.
Maskus and R. L. Okediji. Issue Paper No. 32, 2010
Intellectual Property Training and Education: A Development Perspective. By Jeremy de Beer and Chidi Oguamanam. Issue Paper No. 31, 2010.
An International Legal Framework for the Sharing of Pathogens: Issues and Challenges. By Frederick M. Abbott. Issue Paper No. 30, 2010.
Sustainable Development In International Intellectual Property Law – New Approaches From EU Economic Partnership Agreements? By Henning Grosse
Ruse – Khan. Issue Paper No. 29, 2010.
Trade in Services and Sustainable Development
Facilitating Temporary Labour Mobility in African Least-Developed Countries: Addressing Mode 4 Supply-Side Constraints. By Sabrina Varma. Issue
Paper No.10, 2009.
Advancing Services Export Interests of Least-Developed Countries: Towards GATS Commitments on the Temporary Movement of natural Persons for
the Supply of Low-Skilled and Semi-Skilled Services. By Daniel Crosby, Issue Paper No. 9, 2009.
Environmental Goods and Services Programme
Market Access Opportunities for ACP Countries in Environmental Goods. By David Laborde, Csilla Lakatos. Issue Paper No. 17, 2012
Facilitating Trade in Services Complementary to Climate-friendly Technologies. By Joy Aeree Kim. Issue Paper No. 16, 2011.
Deploying Climate-Related Technologies in the Transport Sector: Exploring Trade Links. By Rene Vosenaar. Issue Paper No. 15, 2010
HarmonisingEnergyEfficiencyRequirements–BuildingFoundationsforCo-operativeAction.ByRodJanssen.IssuePaperNo.14,2010
Climate-related single-use environmental goods. By Rene Vossenaar. Issue Paper No.13, 2010.
Technology Mapping of the Renewable Energy, Buildings, and transport Sectors: Policy Drivers and International Trade Aspects: An ICTSD Synthesis
Paper. By Renee Vossenaar and Veena Jha. Issue Paper No.12, 2010.
Trade and Sustainable Energy
International Transport, Climate Change and Trade: What are the Options for Regulating Emissions from Aviation and Shipping and what will be their
Impact on Trade? By Joachim Monkelbaan. Background Paper, 2010.
Climate Change and Trade on the Road to Copenhagen. Policy Discussion Paper, 2009.
Trade, Climate Change and Global Competitiveness: Opportunities and Challenge for Sustainable Development in China and Beyond. By ICTSD.
Selected Issue Briefs No. 3, 2008.
Intellectual Property and Access to Clean Energy Technologies in Developing Countries: An Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic, Biofuel and Wind
Technologies. By John H. Barton. Issue Paper No. 2, 2007.
Regionalism and EPAs
QuestionsJuridiquesetSystémiquesDanslesAccordsdePartenariatéconomique:QuelleVoieSuivreàPrésent?ByCosmasMiltonOboteOchieng.
Issue Paper No. 8, 2010.
Rules of Origin in EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements. By Eckart Naumann. Issue Paper No. 7, 2010
SPS and TBT in the EPAs between the EU and the ACP Countries. By Denise Prévost. Issue Paper No. 6, 2010.
Los acuerdos comerciales y su relación con las normas laborales: Estado actual del arte. By Pablo Lazo Grandi. Issue Paper No. 5, 2010.
Revisiting Regional Trade Agreements and their Impact on Services and Trade. By Mario Marconini. Issue Paper No. 4, 2010.
Trade Agreements and their Relation to Labour Standards: The Current Situation. By Pablo Lazo Grandi. Issue Paper No. 3, 2009.
Global Economic Policy and Institutions
MultilateralNegotiationsattheIntersectionofTradeandClimateChange:AnoverviewofDevelopingCountries’PrioritiesinUNCSD,UNFCCCandWTO
Processes.ByManualA.J.Teehankee,IngridJegou,RafaelJacquesRodrigues.IssuePaperNo.2,2012.
The Microcosm of Climate Change Negotiations: What Can the World Learn from the European Union? By Håkan Nordström, Issue Paper No. 1, 2009.
These and other ICTSD resources are available at http://www.ictsd.org




ICTSD has been active in the field of intellectual property since 1997, through its Programme on
Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property. One central objective of the programme has
been to facilitate the emergence of a critical mass of well-informed stakeholders in developing
countries that includes decision-makers and negotiators, as well as representatives from
the private sector and civil society, who will be able to define their own sustainable human
development objectives in the field of IP and advance these effectively at the national and
international level. The programme has generated an issue paper series on Intellectual Property
Rights and Sustainable Development with the intention of offering a clear, jargon-free synthesis
of the main issues to help policy makers, stakeholders and the public in developing and developed
countries to understand the varying perspectives surrounding different IPRs, their known or
possible impact on sustainable livelihoods and development, and different policy positions over
the TRIPS Agreement and other relevant international intellectual property arrangements. This
issue paper series is the consequence of a participatory process involving trade negotiators,
national policy makers, as well as eminent experts in the field, the media, NGOs, international
organizations, and institutions in the North and the South dealing with IPRs and development.


Previous publications under this Series include:


• Unpacking the International Technology Transfer Debate: Fifty Years and Beyond. Issue
Paper No. 36 by Padmashree Gehl Sampath and Pedro Roffe, 2012.


• Realizing the Potential of theUNFCCC TechnologyMechanism. Perspectives on theWay
Forward.IssuePaperNo.35byJohnBarton,PadmashreeGehlSampathandJohnMugabe,
2012.


• BridgingtheGaponIntellectualPropertyandGeneticResourcesinWIPO’sIntergovernmental
Committee (IGC). Issue Paper No.34 by David Vivas-Eugui, 2012.


• The Influence of Preferential Trade Agreements on the Implementation of Intellectual
PropertyRights inDevelopingCountries. IssuePaperNo.33byErmiasTekesteBiadgleng
andJean-ChristopheMaur,2011.


• Intellectual Property Rights and International Technology Transfer to Address Climate
Change:Risks,OpportunitiesandPolicyOptions.IssuePaperNo.32byKeithE.Maskusand
Ruth L. Okediji, 2010.


• IntellectualPropertyTrainingandEducation:ADevelopmentPerspective.IssuePaperNo.
31byJeremydeBeerandChidiOguamanam,2010.


• An International Legal Framework for the Sharing of Pathogens: Issues and Challenges.
IssuePaperNo.30byFrederickM.Abbott,2010.


• Sustainable Development in International Intellectual Property Law – New Approaches
FromEUEconomicPartnershipAgreements?IssuePaperNo.29byHenningGrosseRuse–
Khan, 2010.


• TheTechnicalAssistancePrinciplesof theWIPODevelopmentAgendaandtheirPractical
Implementation.IssuePaperNo.28byC.Deere-BirkbeckandR.Marchant,2010.


• FreeTradeofPharmaceuticalProducts:TheLimitsofIntellectualPropertyEnforcementat
theBorder.IssuePaperNo.27byXavierSeuba,2010.


About the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.


Founded in 1996, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) is an
independent think-and-do-tank based in Geneva, Switzerland and with operations throughout
theworld.Out-postedstaffinBrazil,Mexico,CostaRica,Senegal,Canada,Russia,andChina.By
enabling stakeholders in trade policy through information, networking, dialogue, well-targeted
research and capacity-building, ICTSD aims to influence the international trade system so that
it advances the goal of sustainable development. ICTSD co-implements all of its programme
through partners and a global network of hundreds of scholars, researchers, NGOs, policymakers
and think-tanks around the world.


www.ictsd.org




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