Breathe In, Breathe Out: How open hardware licensing can help save the world

Jiri Svorc, Andrew Katz


As with any other open source field, there are countless far-reaching advantages in open hardware licensing, as opposed to its proprietary counterpart. This paper takes the example of a low-cost portable mechanical ventilator design and considers the effect of the application of the three different variants of the newly-released CERN Open Hardware Licence Version 2. This paper considers the importance of licensing, and demonstrates how open hardware licensing can facilitate efficient further development of a project, improve its safety and reliability, and encourage collaboration. Most importantly, open hardware licensing allows anyone to freely use, study, modify and distribute improvements to project design, and make, sell or otherwise distribute products made to that design, making it a cost-effective means of developing and deploying the device throughout the world, from the most developed to the most vulnerable territories. Finally, this paper argues that open hardware licensing also encourages economic activity whilst it protects third-party intellectual property rights.


Open source; open hardware; licensing; CERN; ventilator; medical equipment; accessibility; CERN-OHL

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