Future-Forward: Innovations for a world that does not yet exist

Freeing Intellectual Property for the Planet

Corporations Go Public with Eco-Friendly Patents

With the launch of the Eco-Patent Commons earlier this week, four companies — IBM, Nokia, Pitney-Bowes and Sony — joined with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development to do something almost unprecedented: they agreed to relinquish their control over inventions that could benefit the planet in order to spur innovation for the greater good.

Inspired by the open source software movement, the Eco-Patent Commons aims to share knowledge as a way to address large-scale problems. IBM, which released 27 patents to the commons this week, has spearheaded the initiative after more than a year of discussion. Link

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