Patents and other intellectual property such as know how are a complex issue for policy makers and civil society experts, especially considering the large number of patents involved and the sensitivity and confidentiality around licensing agreements. This paper does not attempt to find a solution to the patent debate. Rather, it examines developing country experiences in dealing with patents during earlier transitions under Montreal Protocol as well as highlights the key issues faced by Indian industry and policy makers.
With negotiations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) considering limits on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as potent greenhouse gases, this paper examines past transitions during the relatively short, but dynamic history of this international treaty. It focuses on past shifts from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) to HFCs, with the goal of identifying lessons that can inform discussions aimed at transitioning from high-global warming potential (high-GWP) HFCs.
Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are considering actions to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) because of their contributions to climate change. One important issue raised by Article 5 Parties1 is the concern that patents on recently developed low-global warming alternatives could restrict access to or increase the costs of transitioning to these substitutes. This paper looks at how issues related to patents have previously impacted the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances by Article 5 Parties with a focus on the role played by the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund.