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IEC, ISO and ITU Institute Joint IPR Policy

New York, Mar 20, 2007

Under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have adopted a common policy to address patented technology in International Standards.

With an eye toward promoting greater efficiency in standards-setting and to sidestep potential patent rights issues, the new policy encourages the early disclosure and identification of patents that may relate to standards under development. Any party either involved in or external to the work of the ISO, IEC or ITU technical bodies is requested to draw the attention of the WSC organizations to known patents or pending patent applications as early as possible during a standard’s development.

“Today, it is difficult to develop technical standards without implicating patents,” explained Malcolm Johnson, director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU. “We believe that this policy will encourage industry to share its intellectual property with implementers of standards . . . knowing that their interests will be protected.”

A solid patent policy provides adequate protection while freeing up intellectual property resources for broader implementation. The new joint policy allows for a company’s new technologies to be included in a standard, provided that intellectual property is made available under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

“International standards developed by ISO, ITU and IEC provide a practical solution to many of the challenges faced by business in today’s increasingly global markets,” said IEC General Secretary Aharon Amit. “Industry has been seeking a common approach to patents from the world’s leading standards developers. This common policy . . . will ultimately benefit end-users and industry.”

“In this way we enable International Standards to be used to successfully disseminate innovation, with a clear set of guidelines regarding the disclosure of and commitment to license the use of patented technologies,” said Alan Bryden, Secretary-General of ISO.

ISO, IEC and ITU also jointly adopted Guidelines for the Implementation of the Common Patent Policy and a Patent Statement and License Declaration Form to support implementation of the patent policy. Additionally, the WSC organizations each maintain an online patent information database intended to facilitate the standards-setting process.

For more information on the new patent policy, please click here.

The ANSI Patent Group is a standing committee of the ANSI Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee (IPRPC) responsible for developing Institute requirements and procedures in the areas of embedded intellectual property rights. It is primarily responsible for drafting the ANSI Patent Policy and for formulating the guidelines that help to illustrate complex policy considerations. International and other patent policies are also reviewed as needed.

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