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IP Strategies for Green Innovations - An Analysis of European Inventor Awards


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Vimalnath, Pratheeba 
Tietze, Frank 
Jain, Akriti 
Prifti, Viola 


To drive sustainability transitions on a global scale for a carbon neutral future, green innovations are needed. In this study, we are keen to understand the role of intellectual property (IP) and particularly, its usage by firms innovating for a sustainable future. Unfortunately, little is known about how IP impacts sustainability transitions. To contribute to a better understanding, we chose to investigate IP usage by award - winning green innovators. We study the winners of the European Inventor Award, a highly prestigious international prize, awarded annually by the European Patent Office since 2006. Among all 210 awardees, we identified 52 winners that we classified as green innovators. Our analysis shows that closed and semi-open IP, particularly non-exclusive licensing, are the preferred IP strategies for green innovations. The IP strategy preferences seem to vary across technology domains. These findings are discussed along with their implications.



intellectual property strategy, patent, licensing, collaboration, green innovation, circular economy, sustainability, European inventor award

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