Technological innovation that either helps to mitigate the effects of climate change or protect the environment is happening at a rapid pace in companies according to a new study by EPO (the European Patent Organisation) and EUIPO (the European Union Intellectual Property Office), which paints a picture of the patent landscape in the period 2015-2019.
Having the capacity to innovate is crucial, of course. It is, however, also important to realise that patents help to make it possible to distribute and monetise the technology on markets beyond Denmark's borders, where there are big opportunities for Danish companies to grow and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions globally
Denmark is a clear leader when it comes to their percentage proportion of CCMT patent applications, i.e. patent applications for technologies that help to mitigate the effects of climate change. This type of invention accounts for 19 percent of all patent applications by Danish companies. By comparison, this figure is closer to 10 percent in many other countries with larger populations, such as Germany, France, Austria and Spain.
“We are doing very well compared to the rest of Europe and the countries we usually compare ourselves to. Patents are part of the solution to climate-related challenges, so it is very positive to see that Danish companies are recognising their value,” says Rune Lorentzen, Director of Policy, Legal and International Relations at the Danish Patent and Trademark Office.
According to the aforementioned study, Denmark also ranks in the top five when the number of CCMT applications is tallied up. Germany accounts for 42 percent of all the CCMT patent applications from EPO member states.
France comes second with 17 percent, followed by the Netherlands (9 percent), Denmark (7 percent) and Sweden (6 percent).
Growth in economic value of green patents
The benefits for climate aside, the economic effect of industries who are prolific with regard to CCMT patent or green trademark applications has increased in recent years, accounting for 9 percent of employment and 14 percent of GDP in the EU in the period 2017-2019.
"Having the capacity to innovate is crucial, of course. It is, however, also important to realise that patents help to make it possible to distribute and monetise the technology on markets beyond Denmark's borders, where there are big opportunities for Danish companies to grow and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions globally,” Lorentzen says.
Overall, one in ten European patent applications filed by an EU company or inventor in 2019 were related to CCMTs. Green trade marks filed by EU-based companies accounted for a similar proportion of all EU trade mark applications in 2021.
You can read the study "IPR-intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union, 4th Edition" here.