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FTC Seeks Comments, Announces Workshop on IPR Issues in Standard Setting

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) would like to inform all members and constituents that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comments in connection with a project to examine the practical and legal issues arising from the incorporation of patented technologies in collaborative standards, including the risk of patent "hold-up" and its effect on competition and consumers.

According to a May 13 Federal Register notice, the project focuses on practical and legal issues that arise from collaborative standard setting when standards incorporate technologies that are protected by intellectual property rights, in particular, the potential for "hold-up" by a patent owner—a demand for higher royalties or other more costly licensing terms after the standard is implemented than could have been obtained before the standard was chosen.

Among the topics to be considered are the disclosure of patent rights during the standard-setting process, the implications of a patent holder's commitment to license users of the standard on reasonable and non-discriminatory ("RAND") terms, and the possibility of negotiating license terms prior to choosing the standard. The notice poses a series of questions relevant to those issues for which the FTC seeks comment.

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by July 8, 2011. Electronic comments may be submitted via:

As part of the project, the FTC will conduct a workshop on June 21, 2011, in the Conference Center of the FTC office building (601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).

For further details, read the full Federal Register notice.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]