Procter & Gamble Co.’s decision to donate patents for proprietary technology to a Wisconsin engineering school is one in a series of such gestures that large corporations are making with selected segments of their intellectual property portfolios.

Other companies that have made similar gifts include Ford Motor Co., which gave away $40 million worth of patents in the past year, and Du Pont Corp.’s donation of $64 million worth of patents to three universities in 1999.

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