Patent laws span every industry and market, and as new inventions mark the advancements in certain types of technology, the competition for patents in specific fields becomes all the more aggressive. The Canadian energy industry is no exception. Reports note that hundreds of patents exist for varying companies within the energy field of the largest country in North America. And as the market for energy patents increases, the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) has its work cut out for it.
The 13 members of the oil sands producers collaborate to preserve developments and technological advancements for the production of oil with 560 technologies to date. With such a burgeoning industry -- particularly as global concern for the environmental impact of oil increases as climate talks and international groups focus on bettering the greener developments of energy resources -- COSIA faces legal challenges creating agreements that do not infringe on intellectual properties.
Despite the escalation of inventive energy technologies, and the resourcefulness of engineers to improve energy production and consumption across Canada -- as with any legal process -- patents take forever. And as the energy industry is at the forefront of global environmental concern, a general question becomes: Why not make more green energy patents available to more companies? If the patent is for the efficiency and increased health of the general public, why perpetuate the yearlong mandates for putting patents through and securing their ownership for two decades? Herein lies the question of the value of invention -- one that will likely be an oft-debated legal subject for the foreseeable future.