PIJIP at American University to Lead the Open COVID Pledge

Catherine Stihler

We are pleased to announce today that our friends at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American University Washington College of Law have taken over leadership and stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge (OCP).

Last year, Creative Commons joined forces with an international group of volunteer researchers, scientists, academics, and lawyers who sought to spur innovation that could be used in the fight against COVID-19. The result was the OCP, a project that offers simple, public licenses that anyone can use to make their patents and copyrights available to the public to be utilized in the global health crisis.

Amazon, Facebook, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NASA JPL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Uber are among the dozens of companies and institutions that have used the OCP’s licenses to open up an estimated 500,000 patents in support of solving the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In August, CC formally assumed leadership and stewardship of the project. As part of this work, we collaborated with members of the CC Global Network (CCGN) to bring information about the OCP to new communities and institutions around the world. We also led an effort to translate the OCP into all six of the official languages of the United Nations.

PIJIP is the perfect group to take on the OCP at this critical moment, with infections continuing to soar in large parts of the world. The PIJIP team is at the forefront of making and promoting intellectual property policy that brings about progress. The program also happens to be the home of Creative Commons USA.

I want to offer my admiration for and sincere thanks to PIJIP, as well as to the OCP steering committee, who have done so much to make this project a success. And finally, thank you to the many people, companies, and institutions who have pledged their intellectual property to the public via the OCP.

For information about how to participate in the OCP’s ongoing efforts, visit the project’s website.