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Facebook, HPE and Microsoft offer free access to DC patents

Project Natick - Microsoft.png

Data centre operators, services firms and developers now have free access to hundreds of patents from three of the world’s largest tech companies under the Low-Carbon Patent Pledge, which is committed to tackling climate change.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook and Microsoft are making available their patents to “accelerate the adoption of low-carbon technologies”, they said.

Under the HPE-led initiative, low-carbon solutions for generating, storing and distributing low-carbon energy will be available royalty-free to technologists.

The patents cover areas including power management, enablement of zero-carbon energy sources, efficient data centre architecture and thermal management. They also include Microsoft’s patents for its submerged data centre technology (pictured).

“The world needs radical collaboration to meet this critical moment in the climate crisis,” said John Frey, chief technologist for sustainable transformation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “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.”

“History has shown that voluntary pledges of patents can help to promote new technologies and encourage their adoption around the world,” said intellectual property law expert Jorge Contreras, presidential scholar and professor of law at the SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.

The three companies said the list of free patents will grow as they add more to the list and other technology companies join them in the initiative.

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