Patent-Free Zone

Barefoot solar engineers in africa photo

The Big Idea

A group of women assembles a solar array in Mauretania.
Image credit: Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia (Creative Commons)


The purpose of patents is not to restrict ideas but to spread them.

In rich nations, patent protection frees companies to confidently invest in their ideas.

But in large swathes of the developing world, the opposite is true. Companies have elected not to pay for protection because there is no market for their goods. These companies are in effect giving their intellectual property to those nations so they can find their own ways to apply, adapt, and innovate.

At present, this opportunity is largely ignored. The purpose of Patent Free Zone is to change that.

The Patent Free Zone concept encourages people in the developing world to take intellectual property and make it work for themselves. This would save lives. It would spur development. It would open floodgates of imagination, creating a rising tide to lift all boats.

Imagine innovation everywhere!