Leading members of the corporate community, including IBM, Sony, Nolia and Pitney-Bowes, have come together in a first-of-its-kind effort to help the environment, unleashing dozens of innovative, environmentally responsible patents to the public domain. The pledged portfolio, dubbed the "Eco-Patent Commons", is available on a dedicated, public website, www.wbcsd.org/web/epc, hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Examples of the environmental benefits expected for pledged patents include:

  • Energy conservation or improved energy or fuel efficiency
  • Pollution prevention (source reduction, waste reduction)
  • Use of environmentally preferable materials or substances
  • Water or materials use reduction
  • Increased recycling opportunity.

Availability of these patents will encourage researchers, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes in any industry to create, apply and further develop their consumer or industrial products, processes and services in a way that will help to protect and respect the environment.