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Intel Opens Patent Portfolio to Speed Up COVID Cures

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By Vanessa P. Bailey, Global Director, Intellectual Property Policy at Intel 

Like other companies, Intel has worked since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis to identify ways, in addition to financial support, we can help in the fight against the virus.  We saw a need to make COVID-19 innovations and inventions without the threat of being sued by intellectual property owners.  That’s why last Tuesday, Intel announced we will support scientists and medical researchers by making available to them free and open access to the company’s worldwide intellectual property portfolio– one of the largest in the world – for use in developing any vaccine, medicine or product of any type that helps diagnose, prevent, contain, or treat COVID-19.

Innovation – and protecting that innovation – is at the core of our company’s value proposition, so opening up our patent and copyright portfolio for any reason may seem surprising. If there was ever a time to open the spigot of invention for the public good, it is at this urgent moment of world crisis to aid those working to end this pandemic. Intel has pledged to open our intellectual property portfolio through the Open COVID Pledge as a founding sponsor (the first high tech company to do so), and are encouraging our partners and other innovative companies to do so as well.

Because our technology – and the intellectual property behind it – are in much of the world’s medical research and diagnostic technology, we can be confident that our IP will inevitably play a role in helping win the fight against COVID-19.  By making this pledge, Intel believes we can speed up the time it will take medical researchers to develop a vaccine or develop treatment options.

This new initiative comes on the heels of Intel’s total commitment of $60 million to help medical workers, students and local communities confront the virus. Intel’s initial pledge of $10 million is supporting local communities during this critical time. Those donations include 1 million gloves, masks and other equipment for healthcare workers, $6 million from the Intel Foundation toward relief efforts in local communities and $4 million from Intel and its subsidiaries around the globe.

An additional pledge of $50 million made last week will be used in several different ways. A portion will support education-focused nonprofit organizations and business partners to provide students without access to technology with devices and online learning resources. In close partnership with public school districts, the initiative will enable PC donations, online virtual resources, study-at-home guides and device connectivity assistance. Up to $10 million will be used for an innovation fund that supports requests from external partners and employee-led relief projects, addressing critical needs in their communities.

Intel will continue to search for additional avenues by which we can help during this time of great difficulty. In particular, we will continue to seek ways unique to our company and its mission of innovation. I am very proud to work for a company that is a fearless leader in the fight to stop the pandemic.