CO2 can’t be patented” is a marketing claim intended to signal that CO2 is less costly than other refrigerant products. 

The unsound logic underlying this claim is that CO2 is a naturally occurring resource and therefore it can’t be patented and its price can’t be controlled by a single manufacturer. 

There are a few problems with this assertion

  • Maintaining a CO2-based system is more costly for operators, not less. 
  • Refrigerant-grade carbon dioxide (R-744) is not a naturally occurring resource – it is a chemically manufactured product. 
  • CO2-based refrigeration systems – and the components, designs, and related technologies needed to make the system function – can all be patented. 

Put simply, the claim that “you can’t patent CO2” means nothing. The bottom line remains that CO2-based systems have no advantage over traditional systems as it pertains to their patented technologies or operating expenses. 

For more information, check out our op-ed, “You Can’t Patent CO2” is a Patently False Claim