Bird & Bird’s IP Group completes first comprehensive analysis of IP rights in carbon capture technology

15 July 2009

Bird & Bird was appointed by Gassnova SF, the Norwegian state enterprise for carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is commissioning the world’s largest carbon capture facility attached to a gas power station in Kårstø (near Stavanger).  The firm identified over 12,000 patents that relate to CCS technology.  All patents that were potentially relevant to the Kårstø project and the four technical solutions that were being proposed by contractors were reviewed.  Bird & Bird’s analysis identified all intellectual property risks associated with the building of the CCS plant.  The firm advised Gassnova on risk minimisation steps it needed to take to allow the CCS plant to be built and operated with the minimum of risk of IP rights being used to delay or prevent the commissioning of this important plant.

Morag Macdonald, joint Head of Bird & Bird’s IP Group, commented: “Given the high levels of technology in the renewable energy market, we had expected that there would be a reasonable number of patents already filed in the area of CCS.  However, for a developing market to have so many relevant patents already is a very strong indication that parties hoping to build and operate CCS plants have developed both offensive and defensive patent portfolios in order to maximise their share of this potentially very important and lucrative market. 

Given the unprecedented number of patents already in place, it is highly likely that, without very careful planning from an early stage, any CCS plant or demonstration project will infringe existing patent rights.

We welcome the opportunity to work with Gassnova on this preeminent project which supports our international expertise in intellectual property, renewable energy and cleantech.”

Partners Mark Hilton and Morag Macdonald led the Bird & Bird team which included associates Gavin Lawson and Victoria Evans.

Bird & Bird’s renewable energy and cleantech team comprises over 50 lawyers in 15 countries and has provided cutting edge advice on solar and wind plants, ocean power technologies, biofuels and energy efficiency.

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For more information please contact:

Allison Reid
Tel: +44(0)20 7982 6079

Notes to Editors

About Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is an international legal practice comprising Bird & Bird LLP and its affiliated businesses, and has offices in Beijing, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm and Warsaw.