IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes, and Sony have come together in a first-of-its-kind effort to make a number of environmentally responsible patents available to the public.
The hope is that the availability of these patents will encourage researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to create, apply, and further develop green products, processes, and services.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and IBM have initiated the effort in partnership with Nokia, Pitney Bowes, and Sony. The pledged portfolio, dubbed the “Eco-Patent Commons,” is available on a dedicated, public Web site.
Patents pledged to the Eco-Patent Commons feature innovations focused on environmental matters and innovations in manufacturing or business processes where the solution provides an environmental benefit. For example, a company may pledge a patent for a manufacturing process that reduces hazardous waste generation, or energy or water consumption. A pledged patent covering a procurement or logistics solution may reduce fuel consumption.
Membership in the Eco-Patent Commons is open to all individuals and companies pledging one or more patents.