Image courtesy of Sony-Ericsson.
SciDev.net reports that a group of companies, including IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowles and Sony, in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), have put together a portfolio of patents called the Eco-Patent Commons with environmental benefits.
The patents can be used in manufacturing and business processes, and will supposedly offer other companies ways to save energy and water, reduce the production of hazardous waste, increase recycling or cut back on materials or resources. Sony, for one, offered up a patent for recycling old cellphones into digital cameras and other electrical equipment, providing the electronics industry with a new reuse option.
Some experts are a tad skeptical about the initiative: Graham Dutfield, professor of International Governance at the UK-based University of Leeds, told SciDev.net, "One wonders if the patents [they are] supposedly giving up are the ones that are for genuine inventions or those that are not." :: Via SciDev.net