UKIPO Green Technology Report 2024

When the UK set a legally binding target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it was estimated that 50% of the carbon reductions needed would come from technologies that had not yet been invented.

The UKIPO’s Green Technology Report, published on 26 February 2024, offers some optimism. By tracking trends in IP data over the period 2001 to 2020, covering both patents and trade marks, we can gain insight into how growth in green technologies compares to total growth across all technology areas.

The key (and welcome) take-home message is that the number of patent filings relating to green technology is growing at a higher rate than the growth rates of patents in general. Nearly 400% growth has been seen in the period 2001 to 2020, far outstripping the growth of brown technologies (fossil fuels).

Statistics on use of the UKIPO’s “green channel” for accelerating patent processing are also presented, although these are presented at only a high level. For those looking for a more detailed review of the scheme and practical guidance about how to use it as part of a global acceleration programme, we think that our own report “Does Green IP Mean Go?” remains the most valuable resource available.

The report also delves into the technology areas relating to the government’s ten-point plan, and shows the UK’s strong presence in the areas of ‘greener buildings’, ‘new and advanced nuclear power’, and in ‘offshore wind power’. The trends have been further compared to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and indicate how patents can play a part in delivering those goals.

As for trade marks, the report details a great increase in the number of ‘green’ marks since 2015, with most filings being related to energy conservation, followed by electricity storage.

Green technology and branding is of increasing value, and is a growing area of research and development for companies worldwide. Take a look at our blogs on green IP (including their increasing presence in the list of the most opposed patents) and on green trade marks.