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World IP Day 2024 – IP and 17 Sustainable Development Goals

April 26th is a very special day in the IP community: World Intellectual Property Day. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) established World IP day in 2000, and since then it has been used as an opportunity to reflect on how intellectual property (IP) impacts lives across the globe. This year, World IP Day focuses on how IP can aid in the development of our society towards a better world, with the theme IP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Building our common future with innovation and creativity.

The Sustainable Development Goals are part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. All UN Member States have adopted these goals, in an effort to form a global partnership to end all manner of global injustices and deprivations, including poverty, world hunger, inequalities, climate and environmental crisis.

MBIP assists various clients carrying out excellent work which aligns with some of these goals. In celebration of World IP Day 2024, we’d like to share some information about a few of them.

Ecoboxtec – Goal 14: Life below water

Ecoboxtec develops and manufactures waste management projects. Notably, Ecoboxtec is behind “reverse vending machines” (RVMs) used in Australia to collect, sort, and compact drink containers in return for 10 cents for each bottle. Eligible bottles include aluminium and steel cans, PET plastics bottles (clear and coloured), HDPE bottles, liquid paperboard, and glass bottles.

Ecoboxtec’s RVMs promote recycling, ensuring that less beverage bottles end up in landfill or as litter. The machines greatly reduce handling and CO2 emissions related to the processing of these different kinds of bottles and cans, as well as landfill space.

SDG 14: Life below water advocates for the importance of caring for oceans and ocean life. Litter is a major factor in the current ocean emergency. Ocean plastic pollution is reaching incredible levels, causing danger for ocean life. Ecoboxtec’s products enable people to reduce litter, providing an incentive to recycle as well as an easy system to enable it. In addition, the business works in partnership with Plastic Oceans Australia, offering the option for users of the RVM to donate their 10 cents for a bottle to the charity.

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NettZero – Goal 13: Climate Action

NettZero helps business decrease their carbon footprint by implementing strategies for emission minimisation, optimising building use, and integrating practical Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into business operations. Carbon solutions include carbon footprint assessment to identify what business activities and facilities produce excessive emissions and providing decarbonisation roadmaps to help identify lower-carbon alternatives and implement initiatives to reduce emissions.

NettZero’s mission aligns with SDG 13: Climate Action. Greenhouse Gas emissions are the driver of climate change, and a sharp reduction in these emissions is necessary in the coming years to control the effects. NettZero understands this urgency and eases the burden on businesses trying to make these reductions possible in their operations. 100% Australian owned and operated, this is a local client that we are proud to work alongside.

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Landmark Environmental – Goal 15: Life on Land

One of our local clients, Landmark Environmental is a Gold Coast-based interdisciplinary ecological, horticultural, and arboricultural solutions company.

Landmark’s work in ecological restoration includes reducing urban tree loss, bushland regeneration, waterway rehabilitation, natural areas management, fauna surveying/monitoring, and fauna movement solutions. These actions promote healthy and balanced ecosystems and provide a safe environment for fauna to live without suffering from the impacts of human development.

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These tasks of ecological restoration & maintenance and habitat creation & conservation fall within the scope of SDG 15: Life on Land. This goal promotes the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of ecosystems on land, management of forests, and the halting of biodiversity loss across the world.

U-Build – Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

U-Build is an MBIP client with a modular self-build system. Highly innovative and influenced by principles of sustainability and environmental performance, the U-Build system is simple to construct and to deconstruct. U-Build can be used to build furniture (such as storage boxes or bookshelves), buildings, or even entire communities.

Major efforts have been taken to make the production of the U-Build system as environmentally friendly as possible, including minimising wastage of materials via carefully selected suppliers, ensuring the plywood used has zero added formaldehyde and comes from well managed forests, and other materials are locally-sourced. The pieces are deconstructable, meaning that they can be reused for different projects, rather than using precious materials on needless production of new pieces.

These production practices tie in with SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. Overproduction and overconsumption have devastating effects on the planet, wasting natural resources and materials. This wastage can be prevented by implementing policies of prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse – as U-Build has in their own production process and in the intended use of their building system, allowing the deconstruction and re

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Conclusion

MBIP has helped these clients – and many others – over the years to apply for and secure provisional and complete standard patents for their inventions, as well as protect their trade marks to ensure others don’t capitalise off of their reputations for doing good.

Patenting is a particularly important field of IP when it comes to the SDGs, as a way of encouraging inventors to disclose their inventions to the public (for the reward of a temporary monopoly on said invention). This system facilitates the sharing of information in a way that allows other people around the world to use and build off research and discoveries, bringing about fast-paced innovation to solve real-world problems.

This World IP Day, we encourage you to consider the way that IP impacts your life, and how the IP system could be harnessed to improve the world we live in.