Blog archive for April, 2010

Launching Public Discussion of CC Patent Tools

April 2nd, 2010 by Thinh

We’re happy to announce that we’re launching the public comment and discussion period for our new patent tools: the Research Non-Assertion Pledge and the Public Patent License. We invite you to join the discussion at our public wiki. There you can read about these tools, catch up on hot topics of interest to the community, or join our public discussion list to contribute your thoughts and suggestions.

These tools were conceived as part of our collaboration with The GreenXchange (GX), a network of companies interested in making publicly available unpatented know-how and patented inventions that have the potential to promote innovation, sustainability, resource management, and other socially responsible uses of ideas and inventions. The Research Non-Assertion Pledge and Public Patent License are just pieces of the underlying infrastructure for how to share and transform that kind of knowledge—just like CC licenses have become part of the infrastructure for exchanging and transforming creative works. While these tools were initially conceived in collaboration with GX, we envision them as generic tools maintained by CC for anyone to use, and we hope they will prove to be useful in other projects in the future as well. That’s why it’s important to us to get comprehensive comments and feedback from the community and the public.

I want to also thank numerous people who have been generous with their time, resources, and advice. In particular, Manny Schecter and Sandy Block at IBM spent great amounts of their time sharing with us their experiences with IBM’s Non-Assertion and the Eco-Patent Commons. Best Buy, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Nike, and Yahoo!, in addition to their advice and support, gave us generous grants to fund our work on the infrastructure and tools. Salesforce, nGenera, 2Degrees, and other participants of GX gave generously of their services and technical expertise. The law firm of Morrison Foerster generously provided us with pro bono legal services and invaluable advice. Michael Mattioli from Ropes & Gray also volunteered to help us tackle some tough patent issues. I also particularly thank our Creative Commons international affiliates for their invaluable aid and for bringing global perspectives to this effort, as well as many others too numerous to list here who provided comments, feedback, and advice along the way. Without such an involved and generous community, this project would never have gotten off the ground. While we have drawn on the contributions of many, we have to be clear that we are ultimately responsible for our choices in the design of the tools and nothing here should be construed as representing the views of these contributors or their endorsement.

We hope that by involving the wider public and community that we will bring in new ideas and perspectives that we might not have otherwise considered. That’s an essential part of our process for releasing new legal tools. So, we encourage you not only to participate in the discussion, but also to bring this to the attention of your friends, colleagues, and others interested in these issues, whom we might not otherwise reach. Send them this link and ask them to join the discussion list posted on the wiki.