My opinion is that innovation and patent registration in the renewable energy are two elements that should not be seen as competitive. Innovation is the creation or development of a new product based or not on an older technology application. Further more innovation in industrial process or management methods is happening without any patents needed. By the time that innovative product could be named as a successful one the IPR associated with that product helps the mother company to safeguard its competitive advantage on the market, thus generating a profitable product. So if no IPRs exist then as someone could conclude, there would not be benefit for the producer to go on the market and gaining some profits, while providing an extra product to the customers' portfolio.
Another issue is that different products and strict IPRs regulations are helping the market to be more competitive regarding the prices of the products. R&D departments have many incentives to strive for developing new more efficient products with lower production cost.
The GreenXchange is building the framework to create a secondary patent market so technological advances that are environmentally sustainable can be tapped by universities, other industries, etc for further research and use: http://greenxchange.force.com/
I agree that property rights are important for R&D, nevertheless it is also important that international mechanisms of financing work together with the development of this new technologies, in order to make them accessible worldwide.
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