ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Submits Analysis of IPR Policies on Trade with China

New York, Jun 11, 2004

The trade challenges facing U.S. industry can be tied directly to intellectual property rights (IPR) concerns in certain standards-development organizations, cautions a group of experts organized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The analysis comes from a white paper highlighting potential trade barriers that result when other countries mandate conformance to national standards developed in a closed process. Often, these countries may also be developing and implementing related IPR policies that are not transparent to U.S. companies and in many cases run counter to international norms.

The ANSI report, “Intellectual Property Rights Policies in Standards Development Organizations and the Impact on Trade Issues with the People’s Republic of China,” was submitted on June 11 to U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans, U.S. State Department Secretary Colin L. Powell and U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. The three U.S. officials co-signed a March 2004 letter to China’s Vice Premier Zeng that focused on a proposed Chinese policy requiring adherence to a national standard for WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI). China’s proposed wireless communications policy would have mandated a specific encryption standard that may have locked many U.S. manufacturers out of the expansive Chinese market.

Representatives from across the high-tech industry – including information technology, semi-conductor, electronics and telecommunications companies and several related standards developers – participated in the development of the ANSI report. Timing for completion was critical as the third China-U.S. Telecommunications Summit (CATS) is scheduled to begin in Chicago on June 17, 2004. CATS brings together U.S. officials and company executives with Chinese policy officials and industry executives for a dialogue on telecommunications and information technology development in China.

“This report apprises U.S. government officials of the nature and gravity of the linkage between standards-related IPR and trade, and calls for the widespread implementation of consensus-based international standards,” explained ANSI chairman, Dr. George W. Arnold. “The standards community looks forward to working in partnership with government representatives in the U.S., China, and other countries, to foster local economic industry growth without detriment to the viability of the IPR of foreign companies.”

Download the white paper here

Download the letter to Evans, Powell, and Zoellick here

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