IDEA CONTEST WINNING ESSAY: LEVERAGING ON INNOVATIVE TRADEMARKS TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR A GREEN FUTURE
As we embark on a new decade, the impact of climate change is felt across the globe. The cases of extreme climate events are on the increase. Addressing the global climate crisis is a modern-day imperative and each of us is conferred with the responsibility to address it to build a green future. A meticulous attempt will be directed towards how society leverages innovative trademarks to raise awareness for a green future.
For the sake of clarity, definitions will be provided to the following terms; Trademark and Green Future. A trademark is a sign that individualizes the products of a given enterprise and distinguishes them from the products of its competitor while the Green Future is a global initiative directed towards achieving the use of resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently.
Innovations are important to proffer solutions towards attaining a green future, an IP (Intellectual Property) system such as the trademark can be capitalized upon to proffer solutions to help raise awareness about the product and services that could help create sustainable alternatives to our existing pollutive way of life.
One of the ways by which innovative trademarks are being leveraged upon is through the use of Green labeling. Also known as Ecolabelling, it is a recognized scheme for companies to make transparent environmental declarations about their products and services. It has been used to promote statements regarding the environmental characteristics of a product, names connoting environmental benefits, and certification of environmentally benign services such as Green seal Inc. and Green Cross Certification Co. Innovative trademarks can be used to define the market for green labels. By providing a distinctive identity for the product or service, this creates awareness about the environmental performance of products and services from a life-cycle perspective which in turn contributes to the attainment of the green future.
Equally useful to raise awareness, is the use of Collective and Certificate marks by members of a green future association. This will distinguish the goods or services of members from those of other undertakings and label products with warnings disclosing the environmental harmfulness of products. Partnerships such as the United Utilities Sustainable Catchment Management Programme whose goal is to contribute to the future iteration of sustainability can partner to acquire such rights.
Lastly, is the licensing of an innovative trademark to developed enterprises to generate investment. Trademarks can appreciate over time. The more your business repute grows, the more valuable your brand will be. Trademarks through licensing can serve to expand a product reach across countries, while simultaneously promoting the green initiative.
In conclusion, the UN Climate Change conference of 2019 predicted that a quarter of the world’s population is at risk of water supply problems, growth of oxygen-poor oceans, die-off of vegetations, and a host of other negative responses. There is no time to waste! Technological innovation is vital to maintaining our standard of living . No better time to start protecting and making good choices than now , because as some anonymous author once said “Mother nature selflessly provides all our needs, it’s time we start to care for her’’
Omotunde Masha (Winner, IPTLCUI World IP Day Idea Contest)
300 Level, Faculty of Law,
University of Ibadan.
Harvard Journal of Law and Technology;Volume 4, Spring Issue, (1991) Using Intellectual Property To Improve Environmental Protection
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235887 Crown Copyright; Gowers Review of Intellectual Property(2006)