For most of us seeking to innovate in the social sector, solving existing problems in new ways is accomplished by bringing technologies or processes from other sectors to bear on the problems faced by the vulnerable. However, innovators are sometimes also true inventors – devising first of their kind solutions for today’s most pressing problems.
In these cases, it is not uncommon for the inventor to seek protection for the unique intellectual property contained in their ideas. After all, what benefits those in need may also turn out to be something that is also extremely useful for those with greater levels of disposable income.
Patents are one type of protection that are recognized around the world and, assuming you have the financial and legal resources, enforceable. Enter the US Patent and Trademark Office. Since 2012, the USPTO has given awards to businesses, universities, and non-profits using patented technology to aid the less fortunate.
My guest for the 173rd Terms of Reference Podcast is Edward Elliot who manages the Patents for Humanity program. For those inventors out there, you’re going to find this conversation extremely useful and potentially rewarding. For the rest of us Aidpreneurs, our conversation is a fun and surprising discussion about past awardees and the massive impact they’ve had on global issues.
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