Frequently Asked Questions: WIPO GREEN

Basics

WIPO GREEN is a public-private partnership established in 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is an online platform for technology exchange that supports global efforts to address climate change by connecting providers and seekers of environmentally friendly technologies. Through its database, network, and events, WIPO GREEN brings together key players to catalyze green technology innovation and diffusion.

WIPO GREEN is unique because it assembles in one place technologies at all stages of development, from prototypes to marketable products. These technologies are available for license, collaboration, joint ventures, and sale. By including eco-friendly technologies as well as technology “needs” in its database, WIPO GREEN is a go-to platform for green technology innovation.

“Green technologies” are environmentally sound technologies as defined in Chapter 34 of Agenda 21 (The United Nations Program of Action from Rio, 1992). Green technologies “protect the environment, are less polluting, use all resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle residual waste in a more acceptable manner than the technologies for which they were substitutes”. These “include know-how, procedures, goods and services, and equipment as well as organizational and managerial procedures.”

WIPO GREEN is one of WIPO’s contributions to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. One of WIPO’s nine strategic goals, as set out in the Medium Term Strategic Plan and biennial Program and Budget, is “Addressing Intellectual Property in Relation to Global Policy Issues.” To this end, WIPO harnesses expertise in the global policy debates related to intellectual property (IP), focusing on three global challenges: climate change, global public health, and food security.

It also works with partners to contribute practical solutions. In the Program and Budget for 2012 to 2017, member states gave WIPO the mandate to establish and maintain a functioning platform for open innovation and diffusion of green technologies, i.e. the WIPO GREEN platform.

WIPO GREEN is funded from the regular budget of WIPO; however, it has received contributions for specific projects and events from the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA) and governments of Japan, Australia, France, and Brazil.

WIPO GREEN itself does not provide financial support for technologies, solutions, or projects. Technology providers are encouraged to upload technology solutions on the WIPO GREEN database and connect with other users through the database or our in-person events to explore partnership opportunities. You can also browse our list of funding opportunities.

WIPO’s Development Agenda includes a number of relevant recommendations (numbers 25, 26, 28, 30 and 40) that encourage WIPO to explore IP-related initiatives that promote the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the benefit of developing countries.

To support WIPO GREEN, member states can promote the initiative at national and regional levels and/or finance projects via funds-in-trust.

The WIPO GREEN Advisory Board, comprising partners and the WIPO Secretariat, guides the activities of WIPO GREEN. The Board advises on strategy, amendments to the WIPO GREEN Charter, the classification of green technologies on the WIPO GREEN database, and conduct outreach activities. The Advisory Board is an important consultative and counseling body but does not exercise any influence over WIPO’s program and budget.

Registration

No, anyone can create a WIPO account and register as a WIPO GREEN user for free.

We will review your user registration request using the information provided in the online form. If approved, we will send you a confirmation email notifying you that your account is active. Please note that only institutions can register to upload needs and technologies; individuals may only contact other users.

WIPO GREEN database

The more detailed and precise that you can be with your database submission, the more likely it is that a user will be able to find your technology, understand its relevance, and want to learn more. We recommend that you pay special attention to the technology category that you select for your technology/need, include a link to any relevant websites (e.g. company site), and any photos or diagrams that explain the technology/need.

No. Any licensing of trade secrets will be governed by individually negotiated agreements. Before submitting your technology solution for inclusion in the WIPO GREEN database, please make sure that you have not disclosed any confidential information. Once information is published on our database, we may be unable to prevent its use by third parties.

As of May 2019, we have more than 3600 technologies and needs from around 1200 users in 110 countries.

Users are solely responsible for the content and accuracy of the information uploaded onto the database. Please refer to section 7 of the Terms and Conditions for the Use of the WIPO GREEN Database for more information.

We encourage you to review your database submission regularly to ensure it contains up-to-date information. For a technology listing, for example, this may include new applications or technology updates. By updating your submission, you also let other users know that the technology or need is still active – and available.

All users that are logged in to the WIPO GREEN portal can click on the “contact” button that appears on each database entry to message another user directly.

All technologies uploaded to the WIPO GREEN database remain the property of the rights holder. It is up to the right holder and the collaborating parties to structure agreements in the manner they feel is most appropriate and effective.

Not necessarily. The service providers listed in the database can decide whether they want to charge for their services, and how much. Those who provide pro bono services to WIPO GREEN users can indicate that in their profile.

Patents

WIPO GREEN does not require that technologies or innovations uploaded to its database be patented, or in the process of being patented. Therefore, technology providers can upload their technology while related patent applications are pending.

WIPO GREEN users decide the extent to which they wish to disclose information and details about their technology on the WIPO GREEN database. Careful consideration should be given to the information that is uploaded in the database to avoid disclosing confidential or sensitive information that could jeopardize a current or future patent application. WIPO GREEN encourages users to thoroughly review each submission before it is published.

WIPO GREEN cannot provide an opinion on patentability. Patents are territorial rights that are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed or granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.

There are several national or regional IP authorities that can prioritize the examination of patent applications if they relate to climate change and the environment. WIPO GREEN users should consult with their relevant IP office to find out if, and how, they can benefit from these initiatives.

Licensing a patent simply means that the patent owner grants permission to another individual or organization to make, use, sell his/her patented invention. This takes place according to agreed terms and conditions (for example, defining the amount and type of payment to be made by the licensee to the licensor), for a defined purpose, territory, and period of time.

A patent owner may grant a license to a third party for many reasons. The patent owner, for example, may not have the necessary manufacturing facilities, and may therefore allow others to make and sell his/her patented invention in return for “royalty” payments.

WIPO GREEN users involved in negotiating patent licensing agreements may find the WIPO GREEN Licensing Checklist PDF, WIPO GREEN Licensing Checklist helpful.

More questions?

If you couldn't find an answer to your question on this page or through the WIPO GREEN homepage, then feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to provide you with an answer.

Disclaimer: The questions and answers provided on this page serve a purely informative purpose and are not a legal point of reference. They do not necessarily represent the official position of WIPO or its member states.

Warning: Uploading information about an invention to the WIPO GREEN database does not grant users IP protection. Users should carefully assess any risks associated with the disclosure of technical information prior to publishing it in the database.