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Sharing eco-friendly patents on global basis

24/07/2008

  • Europe

Global businesses are set to share patents with other companies to reduce environmental impacts. This will help develop products, processes and services protecting the environment.

Eco-Patent Commons is sharing patents to encourage researchers, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes in any industry to create, apply and further develop their consumer or industrial products, processes and services in a way that will help protect and respect the environment. This effort was initiated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and IBM, in partnership with Nokia, Pitney Bowes and Sony.

The patent portfolio is available on a public website hosted by the WBCSD. It focuses on environmental matters and innovations in manufacturing or business processes where the solution provides an environmental benefit such as reducing hazardous waste generation, energy use or water consumption.

Environmental benefits expected include:

  • Energy conservation or improved energy or fuel efficiency;
  • Pollution prevention;
  • Use of environmentally preferable materials or substances;
  • Reduction of water or materials use; and
  • Increased recycling opportunities.

Membership open to all

Membership in the Eco-Patent Commons is open to all individuals and companies pledging one or more patents. The founding companies and the WBCSD are inviting other interested companies to become members and participate in this initiative promoting innovation and collaboration to help protect the planet.

“Innovation to address environmental issues requires the application of technology as well as new models for sharing intellectual property among companies in different industries,” says Dr John E. Kelly III, director of IBM Research. “In addition to enabling new players to engage in protecting the environment, the free exchange of valuable intellectual property will accelerate work on the next level of environmental challenges. We strongly urge other companies to contribute to the Eco-Patent Commons.”

“Environmental issues have great potential to help us discover the next wave of innovation because they force us all to think differently about how we make, consume and recycle products,” adds Donal O’Connell, Director of Intellectual Property, Nokia. “We have pledged a patent designed to help companies safely re-use old mobile phones by transforming them into new products. Recycling the computing power of mobile phones in this way could significantly increase reuse of materials in the electronics industry.”

More information:

The Eco-Patent Commons: A leadership opportunity for global business to protect the planet