Today, at an event in New York, GE announced that it will open up about 1000 patents from its library of some 20,000 to inventors using Quirky's crowdsourced product development platform. That means that if you're bright enough, you can use a GE patent to invent something.
GE will still collect royalties on your brain power, but they promise not to sue you. Quirky, for those of you unfamiliar, is an online social platform that people use to develop tiny products. In general, the products that make it all the way through the platform's gauntlet of development stages all the way to production are simple little gadgets that make your life better, but don't exist.
Starting next month, GE will being rolling out patents and make them available through a searchable online database. The two companies announced some crazy-sounding tech, like "optical systems", "barrier coatings", and "Telematics and asset tracking technology" that will be available, but the whole list of usable knowledge isn't yet available. Either way, opening up knowledge is always a good thing. Now, it's up to you to do something with it. [Quirky]