Why too many patents are getting in the way of environmental sustainability

It might not be the patents themselves that represent the problem.  After all,  more patents mean more innovation, creativity, and development.  It is the cost of this development what poses a controversial question of how are too many patents getting in the way of sustainable development.

Green inventions

Many new products being patented are presenting themselves as being green.  But this begs the question of how green these products actually are?  Or how can this be guaranteed within a line of production?

Green patents

Green patents are an option where companies can create more sustainable opportunities for clients and stakeholders.  It also has the purpose of incentivizing green business practices.   These patents include those that promote less use of dirty energy and more of environmentally-friendly business practices.

There are then key areas of innovation that include alternative fuels such as wind, water, nuclear energy, energy efficiency, material efficiency, recycling, and more.

Environmental sustainability

But even though green patents have seen a substantial growth over the past few years, they still do not represent the majority of them.  There are many reasons for that.  Actually, I can think of two reasons why too many patents and production are not green at all.

  1. When the costs of negative environmental impact are relatively far, such as climate change, it is hard to see beyond the financial benefits, since the whole idea is still salient in the mind of people.
  2. The costs are borne to the society, so there is no direct impact to the business or to the direct relationship with the final consumer.

Many companies now have been thinking about sustainability for at least the last 20 years.  Nevertheless, as it has been said before, stopping pollution is stopping development.  As stated before, the number of patents directly means less environmentally-friendly ideas and/or aspects.

The main focus of producing something that solves people’s issues is to actually get them solved effectively.  Very rarely is the cost to the environment ever considered.  If we were to look for a culprit, we can probably say that we remain as a highly consumerist society that has no way to turn their look to anything else.

On the other hand, the fact that the final consumer cannot see the green efforts of some patents, inventors do not see the value of the trend.  For example, people can see the value of eating organic foods.  They can see the difference and the benefits to their own organisms.  Asking them to have the same feeling about a plant that produces shoes in a green production system is a bit of a stretch.

We are in need of green patents to help us have a greater environmental sustainability.  A Patent Lawyer Vancouver can guide you towards this purpose in a professional way.