More patents are donatedOctober 2008
Three more companies – Bosch, DuPont and Xerox – have released patents so as to encourage the development of new products with social and environmental benefits.
The businesses have together made more than 30 patents available under the Eco-Patent Commons programme created by the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which aims to encourage innovation by putting patents into the public domain.
Among the newly-released patents are a Bosch method that plays a part in turning vehicles’ waste heat into useful energy, a DuPont technique for converting non-recyclable plastics into fertilizer, and Xerox technology that reduces the time and cost of removing hazardous waste from water and soil.
The Eco-Patent Commons programme was introduced this year by IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes and Sony, which have been encouraging other companies to follow suit (EP9, issue 9, p6).
The new pledges more than double the number of patents now available to the public. Since the programme started, three patents have been used by others – and there have been many more inquiries, which the WBCSD hopes will lead to innovations.
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