How to Patent Green Technology for Your Business

Green technology is big business. From climate change activists like Greta Thunberg to plastic bag tax and programmes like Blue Planet highlighting the tidal wave of plastic in our oceans, we are all increasingly aware of the devastating impacts of pollution. Therefore, the demand for green or greener ways of doing things is high. If you’re an entrepreneur or start-up and you have an idea or prototype for a green technology, you can capitalise on this increased demand.

One of the things you’ll need to consider is whether you want to get a patent for your invention. A patent gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, sells or imports your invention without your permission and the patent application process for green technology is slightly different than for other inventions. Here we look at how to do it.

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What is green technology?

Green technology, or green tech, is an umbrella term that refers to any technology that has an environmentally friendly production process; a technology that mitigates or reverses environmental damage; or even a clean energy production process, such as solar energy.

The goal of green technology is to be sustainable, protect the environment, and even repair past damage. Whether it’s new ways of recycling, renewable energy sources or LED lighting, there are lots of different types of green technology that we currently use, but as we continue to see the effects of global warming rise, humankind needs to do more.

The patenting process

Before you start the patenting process, you need to consider whether a patent is right for your invention. Not all inventions have a large financial value, and the cost and expense of securing a patent could outweigh the profit potential of your invention. In addition, from research to confidentiality agreements to filing your application, there are many stages to the patenting process, so it is best to consult the skills of an experienced patent lawyer, such as a member of the team at Withers.

What is accelerated processing?

The usual time frame for a patent to be processed can be anywhere from a year to four years. However, the Green Channel for patent applications, which was introduced in 2009, allows you to request accelerated processing of your application if your invention has an environmental benefit. You must be able to prove that this is the case.

If, for example, it’s the process that your invention is made by that is green, rather than the product itself, you will need to be able to explain this, and your request may be refused by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) if they do not consider your invention to meet the criteria for the Green Channel. The IPO keeps a database of all published Green Channel patent applications. The most recent ones include a method and apparatus for oil condition monitoring and a road pollution extraction system.

If you’ve got that killer green idea, not only could you be helping to save the planet, it could be a profitable endeavour, so it’s essential that you protect it if necessary. By following the advice above, you could see your product brought to market sooner than you think.

Why Now is a Great Time for Developing a Green Economy

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has taken a human and socio-economic toll over the course of the last six months, with more than 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths recorded so far. However, the pandemic has always provided moments of hope and economy across the globe, from the boom in ecommerce and the rise of remote working to the unexpected 8% emissions reduction reported in the UK. These trends have also been impactful across the globe, and there’s no doubt that they have the potential to sustain significant and positive change into the future.

This is definitely the case when it comes to the environment, but is now really the ideal time for a developing a green and sustainable economy?

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What is a Green Economy and Why Should the World Care?

Of course, the Covid-19 outbreak came on the back of global environmental protests by organisations such as Extinction Rebellion, which sought to drive radical change and introduce a green economy that would make the UK carbon neutral by 2025.

This was deemed to be incredibly ambitious by some commentators, although the current Conservative government has pledged to create a greener, carbon neutral economy by 2050.

OK, we hear you ask, but what exactly is a green economy? In simple terms, this refers to an economy that aims to actively reduce the environmental risks posed by business and wealth generation and ecological scarcities, while also driving sustainable development without degrading the environmental landscape.

While regulations and multilateral agreements such as the Paris Climate Change Agreements take care of the first element of this, it’s socially responsible investment that drives the second.

The best example of the latter exists in the form of investment in renewable technology, which is arguably the single most important dynamic for future infrastructure spending throughout the global community.

Can Covid Trigger Increased Green Technology Spending?

With this in mind, the importance of green economics and increased renewable technology spending is clear, while the sharp decline in emissions during the coronavirus outbreak has raised hopes that a green global economy may be on the horizon.

Green Finance

Remember, China was already emerging as the world’s leading investor in renewable technology prior to the outbreak, with a global report also highlighting the continuing decline of oil values as being indicative of a changing global landscape.

Of course, there’s some argument as to whether the record decline in oil prices is triggered primarily by an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand, while the recent fluctuations of the US dollar may also be influential.

Still, there’s no doubt that fossil fuel consumption is set to decline incrementally in the coming years, and this is definitely a factor when appraising the issues faced by oil of late.

Ultimately, these facts hint at a greener and more sustainable future, and it cannot be denied that most developed economies were investing in renewable energy sources at record levels prior to the pandemic.

The question that remains, of course, is to what degree the recent emissions reductions across the globe have been inspired by such changes? The answer is telling, particularly if it turns out the reduction in CO2 emissions over the course of the last two months was solely driven by the widespread lockdown measures that curbed road and air travel.

Regardless, now is clearly the ideal time to push a greener agenda and continue laying the foundations for a more sustainable future.

Sustainable Environment in Singapore: An Attraction for Businesses and Investors

In addition to a robust economy, Singapore’s sustainable environment is another leading factor that has attracted numerous investors. Most cities in the world have failed to address environmental issues brought about by urbanization. Towns or urban areas cover over 2% of the Earth’s surface; they are responsible for about 80% of the greenhouse gases emitted while using up almost 75%  of nature’s resources.

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However, a host of countries in Southeast Asia are leading the way to change this contrary notion about cities and urban regions. Research conducted by several world-leading environmental bodies and institutions determined that Singapore is indeed one of the most environmentally sustainable nations.

Singapore’s first prime minister kickstarted the dream of making Singapore a green city. His main agenda was to make Singapore stand out from the rest of the Asian countries and also attract investors from all over the world. The first step undertaken to achieve this dream was the eradication of the houseboats and overcrowded slums along the banks of Singapore River.

Incorporation services Singapore are offering entrepreneurs moving to Singapore a platform to incorporate their businesses in Singapore. This allows them to run their firms within the stipulated terms while also receive the government’s backing.

On the world’s Environmental Performance Ranking, Yale University and the U.N place Singapore at seventeenth globally and first position in Asia. Contrary to popular belief, Singapore’s efforts and strict green technology guidelines, which were set and backed up by the government, helped in making it an eco-friendly city.  

So how exactly does Singapore afford to provide suitable surroundings perfect for its citizens and also attract investors and entrepreneurs from overseas?

Government Support

As discussed before, adoption of green technology is one of the leading things that has made Singapore an eco-friendly city. Singapore has been able to morph into a modernized city-state without having a negative impact on nature.

The Singapore government’s Cleantech division, which is a subsidiary of the board tasked with economic growth, has offered continued support to companies in the clean technology business. This has led to the business sector growing tremendously in areas such as renewable energy, water conservation, green buildings, etc.

Growing ICT Center

Companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP) and International Business Machines Corporation have partnered with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. The main idea behind these partnerships is to ensure that Singapore’s ICT industry thrives. HP, for example, has been tasked with designing and manufacturing energy efficient systems that will cut power costs while still providing a working platform for businesses.

There is no shortage of green spaces in Singapore

Low Energy Costs and Environmental Remedies

Accommodating over 7000 companies from different nations across the globe is no mean feat. As such, Singapore’s government and other agencies know that a green environment is not the only requirement to attract more investors.

Through an alliance known as the Singapore Sustainability Alliance, an umbrella consisting of government groups, non-governmental organizations, and teaching institutions, Singapore has been able to come up with policies that create a sustainable environment. Other than this, the alliance has overseen the adoption of systems that include proper water use, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, etc. which have significantly improved business growth.