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Speaker Abstract

Intellectual Property and Patent Issues for the Emerging Bioenergy Sector

Daniel R. Cahoy
Associate Professor of Business Law, Smeal College of Business
The Pennsylvania State University

The development and implementation of new technologies will be necessary to answer the demand for efficient means of greatly increasing bioenergy supply. Such technologies, which may impact feedstocks, production facilities or even supply chain systems, will often be protected by intellectual property (“IP”) rights like patents. Although IP provides important investment incentives, it can place a great deal of control in the hands of a relative few actors and may even obstruct innovation by creating patent “thickets.” This presentation will outline these and other IP ownership issues, as well as possible avenues for optimizing the social and economic impacts of bioenergy innovation.