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Abstract

Patent laws can do their bit to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, accelerated grant procedures and reduction of fees have been put in place by among others the UK and US patent offices. Private initiatives such as the eco-patent commons to licence technology free of charge have been taken. But greening patent law is only a small part of the solution. However well-intentioned all these initiatives are, for several reasons, they may not be sufficient or even at all used. More than intellectual property-related solutions, what will be needed is non- intellectual property-related solutions such as using technology already in the public domain, collaborating rather than competing, funding especially for developing and least developed countries (to build renewable energy plants, reforest the earth), goodwill (accept to licence developed countries’ technology at cheap prices to developing and least developed countries for a while) and above all both individual and collective commitment.

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