Patent trolls are threatening sustainable innovation and products, The Guardian reports.
Small firms are especially at risk, the newspaper says, because their limited budgets may prevent them from fighting back against patent trolls — non-manufacturing companies that exploit libraries of patents to make money on licensing fees from creative firms.
The Guardian says 60 percent of patent litigation is brought by patent trolls, primarily against companies with low annual incomes. This hurts sustainable development because trolling replaces patents’ financial protection, thus reducing firms’ incentive to turn sustainable ideas into green technology.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation says applications to patent greentech have risen more than 6 percent since 2011.
Green technology also helps to sustain the US economy by providing new jobs. A Brookings Institution report estimates that between 2008 and 2011, the number of green jobs in the US grew 260 percent from 750,000 to 2.7 million.
Photo Credit: troll monument in Geiranger seaport, Norway, via Shutterstock