Posts Tagged: "clean energy"

The Push for Clean Energy Ignores Economic and U.S. Innovation Realities

During the last Presidential campaign, then candidate Biden famously promised to end fossil fuels. True to his commitment, President Biden has attempted to make the oil and gas industry less attractive to both corporations and investors. Unfortunately, clean energy is not ready as a solution for 21st century economies. But if the Biden Administration does want an alternative energy future, it better figure out how to fix a broken American patent system where virtually nothing is patent eligible, and it better also figure out how to keep the United Nations and developing countries from stealing proprietary rights of innovators. On the heels of the Biden Administration siding with developing nations in their effort to appropriate vaccine technology, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for all intellectual property on clean energy technologies to be busted, and the innovations handed over to developing nations for free.

This Week in Washington IP: Senate IP Subcommittee to Address Preventing Poor Quality Patents, House Looks at Clean Energy Workforce

This week in technology and innovation hearings taking place in Washington, D.C., subcommittees in the House of Representatives discuss the worker pipeline for the clean energy sector and ways to promote C-Band spectrum auctions on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, the Senate IP Subcommittee holds a hearing on preventing the issuance of poor quality patents, which is likely to include some contentious viewpoints on the U.S. patent system. Other Senate hearings this week focus on innovation in water security as well as national security issues in the 5G supply chain. Elsewhere, The Brookings Institution explores the role of the Federal Trade Commission in consumer data privacy legislation and closes out the week with an event that takes a look at ways to mitigate the risks of artificial intelligence technologies.

This Week in D.C.: NASA Deep Space Exploration, Small Business and Innovation, and Transportation Sustainability

This week in the U.S. Capitol and Washington D.C area., technology and innovation hearings in the House of Representatives will focus on tech at the Environmental Protection Agency, small business contract programs at the Small Business Administration, NASA’s deep space exploration program and sustainability technologies for the transportation sector. Over in the Senate, committee hearings will look at the mineral supply chain for clean energy tech and the regulation of extremist content on digital platforms in response to mass violence. The week kicks off with a discussion at the Brookings Institution of the impacts of federal data privacy legislation, while the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a mid-week event on data-driven innovations in drug development.

This Week on Capitol Hill: Drone Security Developments, Clean Energy Innovations, and Think Tanks Look at Patent Reform and Drug Pricing

This week, the U.S. Senate will hold hearings on enhancing drone innovation and addressing cybersecurity concerns; reducing prescription drug prices; and developments in geothermal energy technologies. The House of Representatives will host a hearing on clean energy tech development as well as a markup meeting on a proposed bill to increase participation in STEM careers. Meanwhile, think tanks the American Enterprise Institute and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will take a look at the patent reform debate with Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) and explore the potential effects of proposed drug pricing reforms on innovation in the pharmaceutical sector, respectively.

Patent Trends Study Part Eleven: Cleantech Industry

Yesterday, we discussed patenting trends in artificial intelligence (AI). Today, we turn to the cleantech and green tech industries, which are changing many established industries in different sectors of the economy, as well as providing entirely new areas to innovate. Cleantech innovation is relatively steady in recent years after a growth spurt that started nearly a decade ago. Those early growth trends were likely driven by government stimulus funds that have disappeared along with the growing innovation trend.  The promise of a green revolution powered by cleantech may still be happening, but it simply is not a patent growth area in general except for a few areas explored below. Developing new products in this space takes years and there are many factors that interrupt this cycle to make product introduction difficult.

Chinese solar farms make country a global leader in renewables despite world’s deadliest air quality

The Anhui solar farm is the world’s largest floating farm but its 40 MW capacity is much lower than other large photovoltaic power stations across the world. However, news reports have focused on the fact that the Anhui farm is the latest in a string of renewable energy plant construction projects, which have been ramping up in China. In recent years, that country’s central government has made steps towards building massive solar farms on land, including a 2,550-hectare plant in the Gobi Desert.

The Future of CleanTech Patents

The number of U.S. patents granted for clean energy technology has recently dropped following a near 10-year period of growth. In fact, according to the Brookings Institute, the number of CleanTech patents granted in the country fell by a whopping nine percent between 2014 and 2016. When the economy picks up and things shift again, energy patents should be able to move forward, but for now, the uncertainty with the current Trump administration has brought things to a complete standstill.

Slump in Clean Energy Patents Causes Concern

As of late, the spike of clean energy technology innovation is slowing down in the United States, during a time that the Trump administration is aiming to drastically cut government research spending in the industry… The slump in clean energy patents is a direct result of the downturn in oil and gas prices, according to Morico. “When oil was trading at over $100 per barrel just before the crash in 2014, there was a lot of investment going into renewable/clean energy. After the prices of oil crashed, investors started cutting back their investments in renewable/clean energy because the costs of many of these technologies couldn’t compete with low oil and gas prices,” he explained.

Clean energy patent market may offer significant financial gains

With an increase in the number of patents being issued for clean energy technologies, it’s not surprising to see predictions of increased patent litigation in the sector. Patent infringement cases in the clean energy sector have already involved many of the industry’s top companies, including Westinghouse Solar, Zep Solar, DuPont (NYSE:DD) and SunEdison. Although patent issuances have exploded in that field, the market isn’t nearly as crowded as smartphones and other industries where a much higher number of patents have issued, making those sectors more visible to NPEs. With the renewed calls for both private and public investment into clean energy R&D in the wake of the Paris climate change conference, it’s clear to see that intellectual property owners who can successfully navigate the patent market could make significant financial gains.

University Patents: Focus on the University of California System

One patent application discusses a solar collector that is low in price while providing sun tracking capabilities. Additionally, a number of applications and issued patents we cover today deal with human sensory or biomedical developments. One patent application describes a system of using porous film to delivery medication to the eye. A recently issued patent protects a system of detecting heart arrhythmias without invasive ablation procedures. Another patent application would protect a method for sampling aromatic compounds to determine their chemical composition and a person’s olfactory response to segments of the aromatic compound.

The Energy and Environmental Innovation Conundrum: Can the Patent System Protect New Ways of Using Old Technologies?

The field of clean or green technology is one of those areas where innovation is desperately needed if our planet Earth is to survive as a place where all living things can thrive. But what if a “new” and needed technology is not really new, but rather a new way of doing something which builds on a known (and patented technology where the exclusive protection period has expired)? And, what if the “new” technology cannot find its way to market (i.e. real-world application) unless there is funding? And, what if that funding requires some type of market exclusivity (such as patent protection) be in place first?

Sun Power: Keeping it Green with New Energy Technologies

Solar energy is one of the alternative energy forms that many believe can be an effective part of the new alternative energy that replaces our current carbon-based fossil fuel situation. However, solar radiation can be inconsistent based on time of day or weather, and large surface areas must be used to collect enough solar energy to generate a meaningful amount of electricity. In most of these applications, we can see solar cell panel technology being applied to individual devices and machines, collecting enough energy to charge a battery or at least reduce energy used from other sources. These patent applications describe cars, digital cameras, irrigation systems and even digital cameras with solar energy collection technology.

Celebrating Earth Day 2013 Innovation Style

Let’s face it, squeezing more energy from the suns rays is not an easy challenge otherwise we would have done it already. Capturing power from the winds isn’t the silver bullet solution and many more advances need to take place. Geothermal energy solutions are promising, but a long way away from scalable reality. Growing food in a sustainable, affordable manner without the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals presents extraordinary challenges. Resorting ecosystems where there are disasters is a long, slow process. All of this costs money, takes time and requires there to be profit potential if they will be commercialized on a broad scale. Without widespread adoption those who are committed and live a good, clean life with minimum negative footprint can only do so much. Thus, the patent system will play a big role in getting from where we are today to where we want to be.

Fuel Cells and Bayh-Dole: The Pursuit of a Hydrogen Energy

HyperSolar, Inc. has developed a technology that they claim will produce hydrogen that is renewable and utilizes natural power sources: sunlight and water. Who knows whether the HyperSolar/UC technology will ultimately lead to the dawn of a hydrogen energy economy. What we do know is that without the forward-thinking legislation that gives Universities incentive to partner with the private sector there would be no such potential. As alluring as alternative, cheap, clean energy is, efforts to get from where we are to where we ultimately need to go will be extremely expensive and the research highly speculative. Such high cost and extremely speculative research is realistically only carried out by Universities.

Nobel Prize Scientist Not Enough for Bankrupt Solar Company

Just because a company has a patent portfolio and interesting technology does not mean that the portfolio, or the company behind the portfolio, will be able to tap into the “perfect storm” we are seeing in certain high-tech industries. “I’m not seeing how the Konarka situation exemplifies the ‘Perfect Storm Effect’ at the upper end of the current patent market,” Laurie says. “On the demand side, the multi-billion dollar portfolio valuations in the mobile device and social media markets are being driven by huge, and ever expanding, consumer demand, and large gross margins neither of which factors would seem to apply to solar.”