Is IP Standing in the Way of a Green Planet?

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The potential of intellectual property rights to impede the cleantech revolution has sparked a lively debate full of heated rhetoric. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu jump-started this discussion last year during a discussion of the Obama administration's goals to promote development of green technologies.

Addressing the importance of international collaboration, Secretary Chu said "we should work very hard in a very collaborative way - by very collaborative I mean share all intellectual property as much as possible." This suggestion, extreme on its face, reminds us that IP rights play an important role in the climate change debate and must be meaningfully addressed at a global level.

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