Calling all Energy Innovators, Start-Ups, & SMEs!
It is wonderful to see so much creativity happening in the renewable energy space, much of it leading to patentable technology, as this https://bit.ly/2wrqT9y article on the dramatic recent rise in patent applications in Korea for AI renewable energy tech discusses.
Did you know though, that these KR applications could affect what technology can be patented in the UK and elsewhere? It is incredibly important to not sit back and/or get so carried away with the excitement of launching new products and services that patenting the key features your own innovative tech offerings gets overlooked.
Here are some reasons why this is a global race for technology rights and why letting innovators overseas take the lead in locally patenting their technology might be a bad idea:
- Patent systems are territorial and nearly all grant patent rights to the "first to file" an application to patent innovative qualifying technology in their territory.
- In nearly all WTO countries, a local filing allows you to backdate later applications for patents in other WTO countries for a limited period of time under the Paris Convention for claiming priority so that your application has a better chance of being the first application. So a EP or GB local patent application filing, for example, allows you to leapfrog back to be first over other local filings in other WTO countries (and, of course, vice versa) if you file there within 12 months of your earliest EP or GB filing date and the other entity's local filing happened during your claimed priority period.
- This means regardless of where a patent application is first filed for an invention, it can lead to rights to control the commerical exploitation of the invention in other territories.
- Finally, don't forget when your patent application is published it forms full prior art globally against which any later patent applications will be assessed to see if they qualify for patent rights.
Brisk research and development to utilize AI in the renewable energy sector such as solar and wind power energy is increasing patent applications. AI is attracting attention as it can accurately predict solar and wind power generation and demand for electric power and realize efficient storage and transmission of electricity through a smart grid. As such AI is touching off innovations in the new and renewable energy sector. According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office on May 8, the number of AI-based patent applications related to renewable energy tripled during the 2012-2017 period.