In 1947 Knoll acquired exclusive U.S. production rights of the Hardoy chair("Buttefly chair") by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy. Cheaper imitations flooded the market. Knoll took legal action in 1950, in the end losing theír claim of copyright infringement; the model was dropped in 1951.
Knoll sponsors exhibitions, scholarships, and other activities related to modern architecture and design. In 2006, Knoll and the World Monuments Fund, a New York-based non-profit organization, launched Modernism at Risk, an advocacy and conservation program. Modernism at Risk encourages design solutions for imperiled Modern buildings, provides funding for conservation projects, and raises awareness of the threats to Modern architecture through exhibitions and lectures. The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize is awarded biennially to a designer or design firm in recognition of projects that preserve Modern landmarks. In 2008, the first award was given to Winfried Brenne and Franz Jaschke of the firm Brenne Gesellschaft von Architekten. The pair received the Knoll Modernism Prize for their restoration of a school in Germany built in 1930 and designed by Hans Wittwer and the second director of the Bauhaus, Hannes Meyer. The 2010 prize went to the founders of DOCOMOMO, Hubert-Jan Henket and Wessel de Jonge, for the restoration of a 1920s sanatorium in Zonnestraal in Hilversum, The Netherlands. The 2012 prize was given to a consortium of Japanese architects and academics for the restoration of the 1950s Hizuchi Elementary School on Shikoku island, Japan.