GE Offering Thousands Of Its Patents In Exchange For Innovation

The company is partnering with Quirky to help inventors produce better products.

General Electric, the inventor of inventing, is reinventing inventing. The company is teaming up with a crowdsourced social platform Quirky to release thousands of its patents to the public, starting next month with a few hundred searchable patents.

"People will be able to use GE's technology in the creation of their own consumer product ideas," the companies explained.

The move by GE follows in the footsteps of companies like Google, who recently contributed 10 patents to allow developers use. The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge not only offers open source software, but also cuts down on the chances of lawsuits.

[Image: Flickr user Steve Wilhelm]

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  • Linda Bernardi

    Finally exciting to see large companies realizing that value from patents is only obtained when you can innovate and commercialize products. As you can see GE is an active member of OPN. I know immediate thoughts might be: “this might be the patents that GE doesn’t need” or “these are non-mission critical patents” or a bunch of skeptical arguments that we can come up with to reject the validity and depth of OPN. So, instead of skepticism, let’s try and figure this out and investigate. Note: the ability to commercialize the content of a patent is innovation. Large companies own thousands of patents. The same companies introduce very little innovation. Imagine: Patents turning into products: Innovation in action. Who wins? Everyone. 

  • Susie Felber

    This V/O guy is one of the oddest I've ever heard.  Like Kermit the Frog meets Ohio Marketing professional.  (and yes, I get V/O work sometimes but obviously, need to up my game)