"Opening up intellectual property for the common good can be
traced back to the early 1970s when a group of Vietnam veterans
patented their wheelchair designs and put them into the public
domain, Gelobter said.
"Since then, we've seen the emergence of the Eco-Index, an open
source, industry-created tool to help companies evaluate product
environmental footprint, and the Eco-Patent Commons, an online
repository of free patents that carry some sort of environmental
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