100 environmentally beneficial patents now in the public domain
20 Oct 2009 -- The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. (Fuji Xerox), a joint venture between Xerox Corporation and FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, have joined the Eco-Patent Commons, a first-of-a-kind business effort launched by IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes and Sony in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to help the environment by pledging environmentally beneficial patents to the public domain. Since its launch in January 2008, 11 companies (Bosch, Dow, DuPont, Fuji Xerox, IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, Sony, Taisei and Xerox) representing a variety of industries worldwide have publicly shared 100 patents, available on the WBCSD Eco-Patent Commons Web site (link resides outside of ibm.com), through the Commons to help contribute in areas such as energy efficiency and conservation, waste reduction and recycling.
Dow and Fuji Xerox each pledged two patents to the Commons which included:
"We are delighted to welcome The Dow Chemical Company and Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. to the Eco-Patent Commons," said the WBCSD's President, Björn Stigson. "By making available their patents in this way, by sharing the results of their investment in research and development, companies are showing real leadership in sustainable development. Eco-Patent Commons continues to grow, and added together, the available patents make up a valuable resource for those individuals and companies working in areas such as energy efficiency, water treatment and waste reduction."
Xerox Corporation, which became a member of the Commons last year and had previously pledged 22 patents, also recently pledged an additional patent on a technology that makes magnetic refrigeration less harmful to the environment. Xerox's US Patent 5,641,424 describes how to make and apply a magnetized solution in magnetic refrigeration that eliminates the need for ozone-depleting refrigerants and energy-consuming compressors.
Membership in the Commons is open to all individuals and companies willing to pledge their patents. The selection and submission of each organization's patents for pledging is at the organization's discretion. Member companies and the WBCSD invite other interested companies to become members of the Commons and participate in this initiative promoting innovation and collaboration to help protect the planet. To view available patents or learn more about the Commons including instructions on how to become a member, visit the WBCSD Eco-Patent Commons Web site (link resides outside of ibm.com).