Innovators developing low-carbon technologies now have free access to patents from “three of the world’s largest tech companies” under the Low-Carbon Patent Pledge, a commitment to help tackle climate change.
Under the HPE-led initiative, “hundreds of patents that could support technologists developing low-carbon solutions for generating, storing, and distributing low-carbon energy will be available royalty-free.”
The Low-Carbon Patent Pledge says “breakthrough technologies will be vital to cutting emissions fast enough to avert climate disaster.” Roughly half the reductions needed to “achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 require technologies that are not yet commercially available”, according to the International Energy Agency.
The listed patents cover a broad range of preventative or adaptive technologies that can help combat climate change.
These include power management, enablement of zero-carbon energy sources, efficient data centre architecture, and thermal management.
John Frey, Chief Technologist for Sustainable Transformation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, says: “The world needs radical collaboration to meet this critical moment in the climate crisis.”
He explains: “To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, we need to work together to innovate faster. By opening up these patents, we hope to help accelerate and encourage innovation by enabling others to build upon our work.”
With well laid-out corporate sustainability plans of their own, the coalition partners hope that “granting public access to free patents will spur researchers and scientists to unlock the technological solutions the world will need to create a lower carbon economy and a sustainable future.”
Intellectual property law expert Jorge L. Contreras, Presidential Scholar and Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, says:
"History has shown that voluntary pledges of patents can help to promote new technologies and encourage their adoption around the world.”
“This is precisely the kind of initiative that's needed to combat the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change,” he concludes.