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Owning the New Economy: A Guide to Intellectual Property Management for Australia's Clean Technology Sector
  • Kane Wishart

Australia's history of developing and managing the intellectual property rights of domestic innovations is – at best – mixed. The relevant immaturity of Australia's public sector commercialisation infrastructure has, over recent decades, been the subject of both stinging academic commentary and not insubstantial juridical disbelief. That said, improvements have been observed, and increasingly, private sector involvement in public sector innovation has allowed for a deepening refinement of domestic approaches to IP retention and ongoing management. Rather than a bare critique of Australia's IP management track-record, or a call for specific law reform, this manual engages at a more practical level some of the foundational questions that ought be asked by entities involved in the 'cleantech' industries. Beginning simply at what is IP and why it matters, this manual examines the models of IP management available to market participants around the world. The process of IP management is defined and assessed through a commercial lens; assessing the 'pros' and 'cons' of each management choice with a view to equipping the reader to determine which approach may be best adapted to their given clean tech project. The manual concludes with a brief survey of alternative models of Intellectual Property management, including relevant examples from overseas and prominent suggestions arising out of the academic discourse. It appears inevitable that the global warming challenge will prompt specific legislative, regulatory and multi-lateral responses by nation states, however, the ultimate form of any such response remains a highly contested political and social issue. Accordingly, the structure of this manual, and the discussion points raised herein, seek introduce the reader to some of the more contentious debates occurring around the world at the intersection between IP and climate change.

  • Intellectual Property,
  • Management,
  • Commercialisation,
  • Licensing,
  • Innovation Law,
  • Patent Law,
  • Open Innovation
Publication Date
September 17, 2015
This Manual on Intellectual Property Management in the clean technology sector is undertaken as part of Associate Professor Matthew Rimmer’s ARC Future Fellowship on Intellectual Property and Climate Change. Dr Rimmer’s research stretches across issues from patent law to copyright to trademark law and beyond, examining how these legal disciplines and the industries they regulate contribute to or constrain action on climate change. It covers issues as diverse as technology transfer and access to technologies, greenwashing and culture jamming. This manual aims to provide a new resource to researchers and associated services providers engaged in the clean technology sector, as an introduction to some of the concepts and issues of Intellectual Property, and to argue why an at least foundational understanding of these concepts can assist in the success and durability of a clean technology venture. While much has been written academically on climate change, there is little in the way of practical guidance for those actively engaged in the development of new IP as to how they might best secure, maintain and manage that IP. This project hopes to go some way to filling those gaps in a concise and practically focused manner.
Citation Information
Kane Wishart. "Owning the New Economy: A Guide to Intellectual Property Management for Australia's Clean Technology Sector" (2015)
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