Do patents establish a barrier to transfer technologies into new markets or are they a facilitator of technology transfer? A relatively old debate is fought with new vehemence under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A policy decision is still outstanding. If the deadlock continues, innovative companies could get worried about their reputation when protecting their inventions, while developing countries strive to access cutting-edge climate change mitigation technologies.

UNEP, EPO and ICTSD carried out jointly a study on patents and clean energy technologies. Detailed technology mapping, comprehensive patent landscapes and a dedicated licensing survey deliver fresh data and evidence and identify further areas for research. Moreover, a new public information system was released. It continuously delivers worldwide accurate sector- and country-related data about patented technologies in the clean energy field. Both the study and the new information platform may help clarify IP-related issues in the climate change negotiations.