Open COVID Pledge: when knowledge-sharing makes the difference

14 July 2020

Intellectual property used for global initiative in the fight against Coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis has inevitably impacted our lives in many ways, one of which is the desire of millions of people to make a real difference, by having a positive effect on the people and world around them.

The signs of this change are found in many places and at multiple levels, with unexpected outcomes – one of which is intellectual property (IP), thanks to a worldwide initiative called the ‘Open COVID Pledge’.

Leonardo, along with other technology and healthcare giants, and supported by entrepreneurs, lawyers and many members of the scientific community, have come together under the Pledge with the specific aim of defeating the Coronavirus. By sharing the knowledge generated by large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, universities and research institutes, the IP will be available to anyone working on solutions to overcome Covid-19.

The essence of the Open COVID Pledge (OCP) is to put aside the complex management of intellectual property rights (in particular patents and copyrights) and cooperate for a higher purpose. Supporters pledge to make their intellectual property available free of charge to the whole world for use in ending the pandemic and minimizing contagion through prevention, diagnosis, health treatments and containment.

Throughout the health emergency, and continuing today, Leonardo has undertaken several initiatives to support those people and organisations engaged daily in containing the epidemic. This has included making available its planes and helicopters – featuring innovative and unique bio-containments solutions – to counter Covid’s spread; manufacturing 3D valves for assisted ventilation equipment; and granting free use of Threat Intelligence services for cyber-resilience of companies and institutions.

By joining the Open COVID Pledge, Leonardo is sharing its knowledge, enabling those looking for the ‘right pieces’ (i.e. industrial patents), to close the circle, develop an idea into a feasible project and then into a product useful in the fight against Covid.

Intel, Amazon, IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, Hewelett Packard, NASA-Jet Propulsion Lab are among the Hi-Tech companies supporting it while Leonardo is proud to be one of the forerunners representing the aerospace and defence sector.

The OCP allows pledgers to keep their commitment by adopting an Open COVID License among existing patent formats or by preparing a custom license that respects the initiative’s mission and spirit.

Leonardo’s Chief Technology and Innovation Office, together with those who deal with IP across Company’s divisions, is committed to evaluating and selecting all the technologies and patents available in order to stop the pandemic. With a plethora of work and research available, we hope to make a significant and successful contribution to fighting the virus and benefitting all humankind.