New Eco-Patent Commons

Four major companies have just announced an innovative plan to put 31 of their patented inventions into an “eco-patent commons” so that other companies can freely use them, without first getting permission or paying a royalty. The idea, inspired by open source software and the Creative Commons, is to promote more eco-friendly manufacturing and waste-reduction processes. Bravo to IBM, Nokia, Sony and Pitney Bowes! For more, see the Eco-patent Commons web site.