Blue Skies

A world where technology is the dominant driver

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The final scenario is the story of a split in the patent system. Societal reliance on technology and growing systemic risks force this change; the key players are technocrats and politicians responding to global crises.

Complex new technologies based on a highly cumulative innovation process are seen as the key to solving systemic problems such as climate change, and diffusion of technology in these fields is of paramount importance. The IP needs of these new technologies come increasingly into conflict with the needs of classic, discrete technologies.

In the end, the patent system responds to the speed, interdisciplinary and complex nature of the new technologies by abandoning the one-size-fits-all model: the former patent regime still applies to classic technologies while the new ones use other forms of IP protection, such as the license of rights.

The patent system relies on technology, and new forms of knowledge search and classification emerge.

Key questions:

  • How can technical expertise be identified and measured? By whom?
  • How can valuable knowledge be protected in emerging and complex technological fields?
  • Should the one-size-fits-all system be abolished to meet the different needs of technological sectors, where will the boundaries by drawn? By whom?


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