Keywords:biofuel, algae, patent, biodiesel, intellectual property, green energy
In the twenty-first century, predominant dependence on fossil fuels as energy resources will not be sustainable. Developing and commercializing green energy innovations will be an essential component of the transition to a more diversified energy economy. Algal biodiesel is one of the most promising green fuels because of its potential as a renewable and sustainable fuel source without displacing food crops. Algal biodiesel research and development are necessary early steps towards a transition to a green energy economy. The strategic use of strong patent portfolios will drive this by attracting investment, incentivizing innovation and accelerating commercialization. Whereas algal biodiesel research and development is largely still early stage, this will rapidly change as aggressive investments and government subsidies facilitate economically competitive algal biodiesel to enter the energy market. Algal domestication, improvement and industrial utilization for biodiesel production will therefore inevitably create value, leading to increased assertion of property rights, of which intellectual property rights in the form of patents are fundamental. This article provides a summary of representative patents and patent applications in the algal biodiesel technology space and their commercial applications.