Open Green IP and Cost-Cutting by Nike


GreenXchange is a collaboration between Nike, Best Buy and Creative Commons to openly share innovation around green design and sustainability. This is a hugely important partnership, here’s why: two of the biggest brands in the world, forgoing the need to hold on to IP in favor of reducing costs, and lowering environmental impact.

What they have in common is a lot of incentive to reduce overhead cost. Can green materials be as effective, yet cheaper? Can sustainable energy save money? And can this cost-reduction help the environment and make the brands more desirable in turn?

Creative Commons is the glue in this partnership, a non-profit that gives structure to help organizations share their IP openly. They key here being “open.” Nike and Best Buy can create new cost-cutting methods, or use ideas already out there, without having to license or buy the IP for those methods, or pay legal fees to manage collaboration.

In some ways, this is about the bottom line — about lowering the cost of doing business.  And how increasingly, many cost-cutting methods are eco-friendly,  like solar power or recycled materials.  But it’s also about the net.


According to Joy’s Law: “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” Meaning that great ideas can come from anywhere, including academia. The internet and the open-source movement is about free-flowing information, and shareable patents. For large companies like Nike, opening up and sharing is mutually beneficial for everyone. “Shared innovation is more innovation.”

I’m extremely excited to see where this goes. Check out more on this from PSFK.