David Keith, a Harvard University professor and an adviser on energy to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, said he and his colleagues are researching whether the federal government could ban patents in the field of solar radiation, according to a report in Scientific American.
Even where patents are directly applicable to proposed projects, patent law would still continue to apply; the emergency rules would merely allow governments to proceed in specific situations, avoiding that projects are being held up by legal action, exorbitant prices or withholding of crucial information.
A declaration of emergency could also speed up projects by removing the need to comply with all kinds of time-consuming bureaucratic procedures, such as the need to get formal approvals and permits from various departments, etc. This brings us to the need to comply with international protocols and agreements. If declared internationally, a declaration of emergency could overrule parts of such agreements where they pose unacceptable delays and cannot be resolved through diplomacy.
The issue is also discussed here and here at the Geoengineering group at Google.