Carbon Emissions Monitoring Patent, a Good or Bad PR stunt?

News.com reports on a carbon emissions monitoring patent.

by Martin LaMonica

Verisae, a small Minnesota-based company, has received a patent for a system to track and report greenhouse gas emissions with software, a business attracting a growing field of companies.

The company on Wednesday said that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Verisae for a method for calculating a corporation's emissions. The patent, filed in May of 2007, describes a business process for gathering corporate emissions data, generating reports, and managing carbon credits.

Verisae is already offering hosted carbon accounting software focused primarily on retail companies, basing its tracking and reporting on the protocols established by the nonprofit Climate Registry, which sets guidelines for emissions reporting.

This is clearly a PR stunt as Verisae has their press release that the patent was awarded on Oct 21, 2008. 

This may be good pr on the surface.  or is it bad PR? There are many governments who want open source solutions. Having a patent is good for your shareholders, but do customers want patented software for carbon emissions?

News.com reports on other companies getting into the carbon emissions reporting business.

On Monday, start-up Hara Software, backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, announcedits Web-based software. SAP purchased another carbon accounting company, Clear Standards, earlier this year in a sign of consolidation among providers.

If I was going to place bets, the carbon emissions will be consolidated into those who have the customer relationships with finance.

Why isn’t carbon emissions just another feature of the financial reporting systems?