Saturday, March 28, 2009

DOE head Chu proposes sharing of IP protection in some energy areas

ANDREW C. REVKIN AND KATE GALBRAITH in dot earth ran a piece titled Energy Chief Seeks Global Flow of Ideas which included recent statements relating to DOE head Steven Chu:

Some energy experts say that a lack of intellectual-property protection in China is a big impediment to advancing and disseminating designs for less-polluting power plants and the like. But Dr. Chu proposed that dropping intellectual property protection might actually be the way to go on some technologies.

The linked video shows that Dr. Chu was including capturing/storing CO2 in the scope of his proposal to share intellectual property:

So any area like that I think is where we should work very hard in a very collaborative way — by very collaborative I mean share all intellectual property as much as possible.

IPBiz asks does "sharing IP" mean "dropping IP protection"?

Dot earth also included:

Asked about the idea of sharing clean technologies openly with other countries in a Green Inc. interview this week, Steve Fludder, the head of the green “Ecomagination” division of General Electric, aggressively refuted the idea.

Ecomagination plas to invest $1.5 billion next year in research and development, and Mr. Fludder is not about to give away any secrets. “Why would we invest $1.5 billion a year in innovation that just slips through your fingers?” he said. “I mean, why would anybody invest in anything that they would have to just give away?”

Mr. Fludder said that he and others at G.E. “totally support the notion that the technology needs to get to where it should get to” — for example, making sure solar panels are installed in sunny parts of the world — but that there is a different way to accomplish that. He noted, for example, that G.E. already has a wind-turbine manufacturing plant in China that is employing locals and competing directly with other Chinese manufacturers.

He said the focus should be more on “what are we trying to accomplish, as opposed to jumping to let’s make I.P. open as the answer. To me, that’s the potential means to what end?”

See also IAM blog post

US Energy Secretary drops an IP bombshell which includes:

If that is the case, it is an extraordinary thing for such a senior member of the Obama government to have said. If it in any way reflects what the President himself thinks, then it could signal a very worrying period ahead for IP owners in the US and elsewhere. Such a basic lack of understanding about how IP works is, quite frankly, terrifying.


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