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Canon and others release patents to assist with the COVID-19 fight
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Canon and others release patents to assist with the COVID-19 fight

About 20 Japanese companies including Canon have opened up the doors to their patents to battle the COVID-19 virus.  Both Canon and Nikon are founding members of the group organizing this initiative.

There doesn't seem to be any qualifications mentioned on the patents.  It's ANY patent as long as the patent will be used in a way to help combat the pandemic.  This is expected to release hundreds of thousands of patents.

From the Nikkei;

All patents, utility model rights, design rights and copyrights owned by each company will, in principle, be made free of charge as long as they are for use in fighting the coronavirus. The companies will not exercise their exclusive intellectual property rights until the World Health Organization declares the global pandemic has ended. Several hundred thousand patents are expected to be opened via the cooperative effort.

Canon, even though we don't report on it, creates a vast amount of medical-related patents.  Partly because I don't understand a darn thing they are talking about in them :)  While the Nikkei does not mention any specific Canon technology, it's nice to see them do this.  Canon Medical (which was originally Toshiba Medical) has also joined.

The Nikkei does not provide a full list of companies that are joining on in this venture but the ones they do mention are;

  • Nissan Motor
  • Honda Motor
  • Toyota Motor
  • Shimadzu
  • Ajinomoto Group
  • Tokyo-based SRL
  • Canon

As well, the following other companies have joined (including Nikon and Minolta)

  • Isuzu
  • Konica Minolta
  • Chanel
  • Mitsui Information
  • Teijin Limited
  • LSI Medience Co
  • Yahoo Japan
  • Haisink Soken Co
  • NEC Solutions Innovator
  • Aninomoto
  • SoftBank
  • Nikon

More about the initiative can be found here.

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