Skip to main content

Public Interest Patent Pledge

The Public Interest Patent Pledge is a promise that before selling or licensing its patents to a third party, a university will assess the business practices of that party and make sure that it will use those patents responsibly. The pledge is below:

The purpose of the patent system is to promote innovation. Patent assertion entities, or patent trolls, undermine that purpose. Patent trolls don’t innovate; they use the threat of patent litigation to extract funds from innovators who developed similar products independently. Governments and educational institutions alike should embrace patent policies that help bring inventions to the public at large, not those that reward a business model of simply suing others.

Even more than other patent owners, the university community has a responsibility to use its patents on behalf of public good. Our inventions represent the trust of the public in the form of donations, grants, government funding, and tuition fees. We should honor that trust by working to protect our patents from bad actors. University research should fuel the creation of new products, new services, and new jobs. It should never become a tax on the innovation and investment of others.

[School name] pledges not to knowingly license or sell the rights of inventions, research, or innovation made possible by this institution to patent assertion entities, or patent trolls.

When determining what parties to sell or license patents to, [School name] will take appropriate steps to research the past practices of potential buyers or licensees and favor parties whose business practices are designed to benefit society through commercialization and invention. We will strive to ensure that any company we sell or license patents to does not have a history of litigation that resembles patent trolling. Instead, we will partner with those who are actively working to bring new technologies and ideas to market, particularly in the areas of technology that those patents inhabit.

Tell Your University: Sign the Pledge!

Use the form below to tell your university to sign the Public Interest Patent Pledge.


Take part in the action! Find a list of supporters at your university.
JavaScript license information