Spotlight on

Green IP & Sustainable Technologies

Green technology combines science, engineering and innovation to provide sustainable solutions that conserve the natural environment and minimise the negative impact of human activities on the planet.

As society pushes towards a circular economy we are inspired and motivated by the commercially-focused innovation taking place across a diverse range of technologies. Industries are finding new ways to support the creation of sustainable solutions and are set to tackle our shared universal challenge to slow down global warming and reduce the green-house effect. The ongoing drive for combatting climate change is not only encouraging growth in existing ‘green’ sectors but is also leading to the development of entirely new fields. Whilst the challenge is huge, so too is the opportunity for innovators to find new and more efficient ways to replace existing technologies and processes with eco-friendly ones and play their part in stemming climate change.

The importance of green technologies is widely recognised with discussion of key green technologies featuring prominently at the recent COP27 conference and is also highlighted by recent policy decisions which aim to incentivise the development of technologies that reduce our environmental impact. Along with the drive to improve sustainability, the need for green technologies represents a huge opportunity for businesses who develop and commercialise such technologies. 


On this page we provide advice and resources on taking sustainable technology from ideas to business and celebrate some of the exciting sustainable technologies we’ve been proud to work with. If you’re passionate about the role technology can play in a more sustainable future like we are, we’re sure you’ll find something interesting (and hopefully helpful) here!

Sustainable Technology - From Idea to Business

We know from experience that the challenges facing sustainable technology business are often different which means their IP strategy needs to be focused to address these challenges head on. For example, sustainable technologies often replace known existing technologies with a different (commercially untested) technology. Funders will often want to see robust IP protection for the core technology to maximise the chance for a return on their investment. A well thought out IP strategy can address this challenge in the early stages with strategic filings to protect the core of the business.

We’re proud to work with sustainable technology business across all fields – there’s an attorney with the skills and passion to understand and, importantly, support sustainable technology businesses achieve their commercial aims.

We’ve put together some content on sustainable IP including our Green IP report looking at trends and opportunities in sustainable technologies and our Green Channel guide exploring acceleration of patent applications in these fast-moving fields. Our IP Audit, SME and IP Legal guides provide practical tips and advice for start-ups and SMEs looking to get to grips with their IP needs. 

Celebrating Sustainable Innovation

We know that sustainability is key to the future of innovation. By embracing the principles of the circular economy, it is possible to create new and innovative products and processes which are not only good for business, but also for society.


We are proud to support bold innovators working on a wide range of sustainable technologies. The development of sustainable technologies is vital not only for companies to survive and grow, but also for achieving net zero by 2050.


Here is a snapshot of some of the exciting areas of green technology we are currently working in. 



Polymers are a crucial area of green innovation. Recently, there has been a shift towards looking at the lifecycle of polymers more broadly, considering not only what a polymer can do for us now, but also considering the ‘before’ and ‘after’ - how the polymer is produced and what happens to the material at the end of its useful life. 

Key areas of innovation in this space include improved recycling technologies for polymers, polymers derived from biological sources and captured carbon dioxide, sustainable composites and improvements in tyre technologies to name a few. 

We are especially excited to be working with clients at the forefront of the ‘green polymer’ revolution, advising on how IP can be used to drive the new environmentally friendly materials of tomorrow to commercial success.



Increasing urbanisation and the growth of mega-cities provides the conditions for change in mobility patterns and practices. New ways of transporting people or products around cities are seen as vital with environmental concerns surrounding sustainability leading governments to encourage the introduction of cleaner technologies and more efficient use of the transport infrastructure.  

There is a global push towards electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of new supporting infrastructure, in particular with an expected ban on new petrol vehicles in the UK by 2030. There is also a focus on the aviation sector and the development of more sustainable aviation fuels and more efficient planes. 

We are working with many of the market leaders in this fast-paced sector and have experience of working on green innovations in the automotive, aerospace and nautical sectors to name but a few.



As the global population continues to grow so too does the global demand for power. Also, growing just as quickly is the realisation that we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

We work with clients working across the board on a range of renewable energy sources from solar energy technologies, wave-power and wind-power solutions. These technologies provide a clean and attractive alternative to traditional power sources. However, we know that alone this is not enough and that we also need methods of energy storage, such as batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to provide the flexibility to allow us to heat our homes even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Batteries and fuel cells are also key not only for advances in portable electronic technologies; but for electric vehicles and green aviation technology.



Sustainability is rapidly becoming a key driver for change in pharma and the supporting industries.  We know that the pharma sector is flexing its innovative might to address its environmental footprint. From more sustainable API formulations to greener manufacturing methods, and from more efficient R&D processes to better products and services for improved clinical outcomes, a revolution in sustainability is underway to meet the ambitious ESG targets set by the leading companies in the pharma sector.

For us, it is energizing to interact with the companies of all sizes and life-cycle stages that are producing solutions to address important sustainability issues.


AI and IoT

The fourth industrial revolution is accelerating technological change at a previously unseen rate, with artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) at the forefront of the changes.  These technologies are rapidly changing the way we live, and the way we interact with each other and our environment.  

We believe there is scope for both governments and business to accelerate research & innovation in these areas to address the environmental challenges we face, and lead us to a more sustainable future.



Future food technology, and the cellular agriculture movement in particular, has the potential to provide sustainable, affordable and secure nutrition for the ever-growing global population.

It is clear that in the search for more sustainable food sources, there are plenty of opportunities for innovation and we have seen an explosion of patent filings as innovative companies in this space develop the solutions for bringing foodstuffs based on novel technologies to market.  

Read our Green Tech Blogs

Capturing solar and wind: how Geyser Batteries can balance the grid

Capturing solar and wind: how Geyser Batteries can balance the grid

The grid needs a rapid way to balance input and output. Geyser Batteries of Finland may have the ideal solution.

Cleantech Commercialisation Report: Highlights and Trends

Cleantech Commercialisation Report: Highlights and Trends

Today (26 April 2024) the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) published an in-depth (and very lengthy) report on financing and commercialisation of cleantech. [For ...

Medical devices: Insights through IP - new report 2024

Medical devices: Insights through IP - new report 2024

We are delighted to release our latest report Medical devices: Insights through IP which looks at the recent IP trends in the medical devices sector.

From grass to graphene: could methane answer the call for rising nanomaterial demand?

From grass to graphene: could methane answer the call for rising nanomaterial demand?

Methane, the principal component in natural gas, accounts for approximately a third of the planetary warming being experienced today1. Whilst it may have a shorter lifetime than CO2, methane is ...

UKIPO Green Technology Report 2024

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 ...

Sodium alternatives to lithium-ion batteries? Na, we’re not Li-ion!

Sodium alternatives to lithium-ion batteries? Na, we’re not Li-ion!

The importance of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in modern society is no secret. They dominate the rechargeable battery market due to their high power density and cycling stability, making them ...

European Parliament votes to endorse plants bred using New Genomic Techniques

European Parliament votes to endorse plants bred using New Genomic Techniques

7 February 2024 marked a milestone for plant science as the European Parliament (EP) voted to endorse plants bred using New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) such as CRISPR. The EP has been looking more ...

Mewburn Ellis is delighted to partner with Oxfordshire Greentech on the Climate Solutions Conference

Mewburn Ellis is delighted to partner with Oxfordshire Greentech on the Climate Solutions Conference

Mewburn Ellis is delighted to partner with Oxfordshire Greentech on the Climate Solutions Conference on the 13 March at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

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Sustainable Planet

Mewburn Ellis, Oxfordshire Greentech and Cambridge Cleantech

At Mewburn Ellis we believe actions speak louder than words so we built the Forward Community Programme, and placed sustainability the heart of our firm. 

As well as looking inwards to improve our own sustainable credentials, we know the importance of looking outwards and learning from others. We are passionate about Green technology solutions that tackle our shared global challenge and we take an active interest in tracking innovation in the green space, contributing to the conversation through our content and working closely with organisations such as Oxfordshire Greentech and Cambridge Cleantech

Forward-looking ideas are to be celebrated and the demand for sustainable solutions grows. As champions of the Oxfordshire Greentech Circular Economy special interest group (SIG) we are always keen to hear from and feature likeminded innovators who share our passion for sustainability and green technologies.

Working with Oxfordshire Greentech we are proud to bring you our quarterly Circular Economy quarterly newsletter. 

If you would like to receive a copy please sign up below.

Forward Magazines Overlapping 8

Mewburn Ellis


Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. Through its pages we hope to inform and entertain, but also to encourage discussion about the most compelling developments taking place in the scientific and entrepreneurial world. Along the way, we’ll engage with the IP challenges that international organisations face every day.