GE Releases Patents to Home Inventors to Inspire New Products

April 15, 2013 By IdeaConnection

5531702791_ecc50ec811With the launch of an ambitious project to inspire inventions, General Electric (GE) has joined an expanding list of large corporations that are co-creating with consumers.

Companies typically guard their patents fiercely, but GE is giving inventors access to a raft of its patents, hoping they’ll be able to turn them into winning products.

GE recently announced a partnership with Quirky, a company that specializes in helping inventors turn their concepts into marketable products.

Trial Project

GE has licensed hundreds of its patents to Quirky’s community and if this trial project goes well, thousands more will be made available to the crowd.  

“At GE we are passionate about innovation at market speed, working with entrepreneurs and finding new models of business,” said Beth Comstock, SVP and chief marketing officer, GE.

“This partnership is just another way we can help inspire invention and help scale it. We are excited to see how the Quirky community uses tools from our scientists and technologists around the world to develop products in an entirely different way.”

The open innovation project consists of two parts:

  • The groundbreaking new platform that opens up GE’s patents to the Quirky community.
  • A co-branded product development initiative for the creation of app-enabled connected devices for the home in areas such as health, security, water or air.  This will be for a new line of products called Wink: Instantly Connected.

The project is not just for inventors as anyone, from stay-at-home mums to students can take part.  It’s another example of how social media is being used to tap into the smarts and creativity of online communities for product development.

For more details about this bold new open innovation endeavor including Quirky’s royalty structure click here.



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