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Scientists and tech companies open-source patents to help researchers studying COVID-19 – Daily Mail


Scientists and tech companies are open-sourcing their patents as part of a pledge to help expand resources for researchers trying to combat COVID-19 pandemic

  • The initiative open is mean to encourage companies to open source patents
  • Intel alone has opened up more than 72,000 patents to the world
  • The license will be valid for a year after the pandemic is declared over 

An initiative is attempting to galvanize scientists and tech companies into open-sourcing patents that could help solve an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The ‘Open Covid Pledge’ is a an effort being backed by tech giants like Mozilla, Creative Commons, and Intel that has already made 72,000 patents available to researchers across the world. 

Other partners include Berkeley and UCSF’s Innovative Genomics Institute, Fabricatorz Foundation, and United Patents.

Participating organizations are asked to post a press release containing an official statement that urges other to join the effort after they opt-in. 

A pledge looks to encourage patent holders to open-source their intellectual property in an effort to help bolster researchers studying COVID-19

A pledge looks to encourage patent holders to open-source their intellectual property in an effort to help bolster researchers studying COVID-19

‘Immediate action is required to halt the COVID-19 Pandemic and treat those it has affected,’ reads the pledge being circulated online.

‘It is a practical and moral imperative that every tool we have at our disposal be applied to develop and deploy technologies on a massive scale without impediment. We therefore pledge to make our intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease.’ 

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The initiative is calling on others to join the cause and provides a template for open-sourcing their intellectual property. 

The default license outlines the terms through which patents are made available, specifically noting that it will be used for, ‘minimizing the impact of the disease, including without limitation the diagnosis, prevention, containment, and treatment of the COVID-19 Pandemic.’

Intel is among the major backers of the pledge and has open-sourced more than 72,000 of its patents for researchers (stock)

Intel is among the major backers of the pledge and has open-sourced more than 72,000 of its patents for researchers (stock)

That license will apparently be active for a year after the pandemic is deemed to be over with. 

The idea of open-sourcing has gained traction as COVID-19 spreads across the world, touching the world of medical equipment like masks and even ventilators. 

Last month, Julian Botta, a resident in emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins, created a Google Doc that listed some of the basic specifications for a ventilator to provide a do-it-yourself guide for assembly.

METHODS TO STOP CORONAVIRUS SPREADING

Infected people can spread a contagion to others via direct or indirect exposure. 

An outbreak will continue to expand if the average number of people infected by each carrier is greater than one. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES 

Prohibiting group gatherings, closing borders, advising people keep 1.5 metres apart, and confining people to their homes has been shown to halt the spread of coronavirus. 

In this method the public does not gain immunity in large numbers and the virus could re-surge dramatically if controls are lifted. 

HERD IMMUNITY 

People who recover from COVID-19 develop antibodies and immunity. 

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As the virus spreads through the population and more people develop immunity there are less people the virus can infect. 

If enough people have immunity the outbreak will die away. 

It is estimated about 30 per cent of people who catch the virus will not show symptoms and for many more the symptoms will not be serious. 

This method produces a spike in infections which can overwhelm the healthcare system resulting in large numbers of fatalities. 

VACCINES

A COVID-19 vaccine would be the safest and most effective way of controlling the outbreak. 

There are several vaccines currently in development though they need to be tested which can take many months. 

If a vaccine is rushed without proper testing there may be side-effects and complications. 



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