The companies pledged to make the hundreds of thousands of patents they collectively hold available via temporary licenses for use in the research, development and deployment of medical equipment, network products, software solutions and other technology to assist in the fight against Covid-19.
An international coalition of legal experts, scientists and technologists created the Open Covid Pledge to encourage companies, universities and researchers to share their intellectual property free-of-charge.
Facebook director and associate general counsel, head of patents Jeremiah Chan said, “The patent system was created to promote progress, and we don’t believe that patents should ever be used to exploit innovation at the expense of the people it was meant to serve. The Open Covid Pledge aligns with Facebook’s goal to support communities and empower innovators, and we’re proud to join like-minded companies to aid the fight against this pandemic.”
Jorge Contreras, professor of law at the University of Utah and one of the authors of the Open Covid Pledge, added, “Amazon, Facebook, HPE, IBM, Microsoft and Sandia National Laboratories are demonstrating their vision and leadership by putting global health first. They are granting free and legal access to their patents to empower those addressing this pandemic to create and implement life-saving tools and technology.”
And Diane Peters, general counsel of Creative Commons and one of the Open Covid Pledge’s authors, said, “It’s terrific to see them using the standard licenses we’ve made available at opencovidpledge.org or have declared compatible with the Open Covid Pledge. This approach makes it easy for users of the licensed material to quickly understand the legal terms that are offered to them. By reducing complexity and ensuring interoperability with other licensed content, these companies are welcoming innovators all around the world to build upon their IP and create new solutions that might put an end to the pandemic.”