The initial contributors to the Commons are IBM (27 patents), Pitney Bowes (2), Nokia (1) and Sony (1).
IBM, the leading generator of US patents, has provided a variety of patents covering manufacturing technologies (eg, solvent recovery, and a water-soluble solder flux), recycling (eg, hard disk recycling, and a method for reusing printed media), and cleaning up waste streams (eg propylene carbonate, photoresists, solder masks, and mercury).
John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, said "In addition to enabling new players to engage in protecting the environment, the free exchange of valuable intellectual property will accelerate work on the next level of environmental challenges," said John Kelly III, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. "We strongly urge other companies to contribute to the Eco-Patent Commons."
Pitney Bowes has chipped in patents covering a maintenance algorithm for inkjet printers that takes into account usage patterns, and a design for multiple overload protections for scales. Presumably the environmental contribution of the latter is that it reduces waste due to broken scales.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.