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Special Issue "Intellectual Property Strategies and Sustainable Business Models for Sustainability Transitions"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 1279

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Frank Tietze
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Interests: innovation and intellectual property management (IIP); innovation processes of product service systems (PSS)
Prof. Anjula Gurtoo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India
Interests: measurement of sustainability, impact assessment, direct and indirect environmental impacts, and circular economy
Dr. Viola Prifti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany
Interests: intellectual property, sustainability; plant variety protection, intellectual property, sustainability and innovation
Dr. Roberto Hernández Chea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lund University, Sweden
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Interests: sustainable business management and practice; sustainable business models; business experiments for sustainability; sustainable innovation; circular economy; corporate sufficiency strategies; sustainable consumption; scaling up sustainable business
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasing global climate, resource and biodiversity challenges coupled with growing social issues raise the need to accelerate sustainability transitions. Sustainability transitions rely on complex, cumulative and open innovation processes typically stretching over long periods of time. These involve multiple organizations across innovation ecosystems, value networks or industries often involving more developed and emerging countries. Accordingly, a shift to sustainable manufacturing and consumption is only possible as a concerted effort.

With new knowledge typically being at the core of sustainable technologies and related business models, the adequate usage of intellectual property (IP) is an imperative for unlocking innovation and accelerating diffusion processes, thereby facilitating sustainability transitions on a global scale.

The role of IP in effective sustainability transitions however remains insufficiently understood. Its role needs critical examination on different levels in the light of emerging sustainable, circular and sharing business models. Moreover, comparing legal IP frameworks between more developed and emerging economies can provide valuable learnings on how IP can be used to support sustainability transitions.

Given the lack of knowledge and research that brings together both the role of IP and new sustainable business models in sustainability transitions, we invite contributions from the management, sustainability, law and interdisciplinary sciences, with a strong emphasis on innovation. Examples of contributions may focus on licensing frameworks for sustainable business models, IP sharing models for green innovation diffusion, IP strategies for product-service systems, open IP models supporting diffusion of social business models, the impact of free licensing/patent pledges on the adoption of sustainable technologies, patenting challenges for remanufacturing firms, approaches for sustainable value creation through technology transfer, or analysis of legal instruments and science-technology policies to support sustainability transitions.

Contributions can be conceptual, theoretical or empirical and should adopt organizational, inter-organizational (e.g. cooperation) or intra-organizational (e.g. projects, teams) level perspectives with focus on formal or informal IP strategies. We particularly invite contributions that focus on or are authored by colleagues from countries that receive official development assistance (ODA countries). Comparative studies are particularly welcome [].

This special issue is jointly edited by partners from Belmont Forum funded research project ‘Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions’ (IPACST) [].

Dr Frank Tietze
Prof Anjula Gurtoo
Dr Viola Prifti
Dr Roberto Hernández Chea
Prof Nancy Bocken

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • intellectual property strategies
  • formal (registered, unregistered) and informal IP (know-how, trade secrets, data, algorithms)
  • licensing approaches and frameworks
  • legal intellectual property instruments
  • science-technology policies for IP
  • innovation adoption and diffusion
  • sustainability transitions
  • green technologies
  • circular economy and sustainable business models/product-service systems
  • social/green business models
  • sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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