Patents 4 Partnerships is a USPTO-sponsored exchange site that matches licensors with health-technology inventors. It lists current COVID-19-related patent-holders in an online marketplace. The aim is to get these new technologies licensed and put to work combatting the current pandemic.
According to the USPTO, the partnership, also known as the IP Marketplace Platform, is a new search tool “to facilitate the arrival of critical inventions to the market to meet the challenges of this crisis.”
“If you want to make your inventions available for licensing, the IP Marketplace Platform provides a centralized and easily accessible place to list U.S. patents and patent application publications. It offers to potential licensees a database of available technologies that permits searches using a variety of parameters.”
The evolving list is an interesting read. It shows current medical technologies around prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including PPE, disinfectants, ventilators, and testing equipment.
Patents 4 Partnerships sprouted in the last couple of months alongside other new cooperative efforts, including the Open COVID Pledge, which we wrote about here, and the Non-Assertion Declaration, Japan’s version of the Open Covid Pledge. According to their website,
“The rapid development and manufacture of therapeutic drugs, vaccines, medical devices, infection control products and the like are central to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Accomplishing this as swiftly as possible calls for a new kind of cooperation between industry, government and academia, that breaks the molds of traditional models. Among other things, in the current climate, we cannot allow patent, design, copyright and other intellectual property rights to interfere with the deployment of these critical items.”
Among companies that have declared their cooperation are Canon, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Isuzu, Nikon and Sony.
“In view of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we hereby declare, without seeking any compensation, that, for the purpose of establishing an environment in which the owner of intellectual property rights shall not enforce such rights in a manner that might hinder the expeditious provision of medical care, infection control, infection prevention and other countermeasures to prevent the spread of COVID-19…”
These are unprecedented global measures. They show that nations and industries can transcend the profit motive in a time of crisis. Maybe this kind of cooperation won’t last… but maybe it will.