Patent Tools Public Discussion

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NOTE: We have closed the Public Comment Period. This has resulted in a number of changes to the draft. For the latest draft, please see CC Public Patent License and the accompanying Patent License Drafter's Notes and Patent License Change Log.


These patent tools were first announced as beta prototypes at the World Economic Forum’s 2010 meeting in Davos, as part of the GX project (, a collaboration to promote the sharing of know-how and patent knowledge for solving sustainability and other pressing social problems.

As part of this effort, Creative Commons agreed to aid in developing and testing novel legal tools that will facilitate this kind of ambitious effort. CC’s role is not to run GX but to help create the legal and technical infrastructure that can help to reduce some of the “legal friction” involved when a community tries to share knowledge and IP.

Our intention is that these tools, while prototyped and tested in the specific context of GX, be ultimately available to the public and anyone who wants to use it—just like all our CC licenses. Thus, they should not be viewed as “GX tools”, but as generic “CC tools” that happen to be used by GX—but that can also be used by other users or communities. Please keep this in mind as you read and participate in this public comment process.

The two patent tools being published for public comment are:

  • a Research Non-Assertion Pledge, to be used by patent owners who wish to promote basic research by committing not to enforce patents against users engaged in basic non-profit research; and
  • a Model Patent License, to be used by patent owners who wish to make a public offer to license their patents on standard terms.

More information about the patent tools are posted on this Wiki (see links below).


The purpose of the public comment period is to gather feedback from as wide an audience as possible and to provide a forum for public comments from topics ranging from high level policy issues to specific comments about legal drafting. We hope that you will help us to further refine, improve, and build on the beta prototypes of these tools, so that they will be robust, clear, and usable. The public comment period is really part our “beta” development.

Our intention is to make this process quicker and more light-weight than the usual CC license versioning process, but still provide a meaningful time period to invite public comments. So here’s how it will work:

  • Please review the current drafts of the Research Non-Assertion Pledge and the Model Patent License.
  • Review the Patent License Design document for additional topics and areas where we would like additional feedback.
  • If you have any questions, see if they have already been answered in the GX FAQ or Research Pledge FAQ.
  • We invite you to join our moderated public mailing list ( to participate in the discussion. This list is created for this particular purpose.
  • As we receive comments, we will try to group and summarize topics and comments and provide a response to them when appropriate.
  • If we make decide to make changes or revisions to our drafts, we will post those revisions on this Wiki under Patent Tools Feedback on a rolling basis through the comment period.
  • We intend to keep this process open for 2-3 months. The exact time period depends on the volume of comments received and the nature of issues raised. For example, if there are many unresolved issues, we may keep it open longer. But if things are wrapping up, we may close the process earlier. We will make announcements to update you on the timing after 60 days.


  • The Research Non-Assertion Pledge and Model Patent License forms will be published by CC as generic legal tools available for use by the public, like all CC licenses. They are not intended to be exclusive to the GX community or its members.
  • Creative Commons does not have any authority to make binding offers or pledges on behalf of GX members. Nothing on this Web site or any statement made in this process should be interpreted as actual offers or commitments from GX or its members companies to grant any license or make any pledge. (Those can only be made through the individual company’s Web sites or its designees).
  • The views expressed by us here are exclusively those of CC and not those of GX or its members.