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International Standards Organizations Issue Updated Guidelines for Common Patent Policy Implementation

World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have issued updated guidelines for implementation of the Common Patent Policy for ITU-T/ITU-R/ISO/IEC intended to address patented technology in international standards. As the official U.S. representative to ISO and the IEC (via the U.S. National Committee), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its members and stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the guidelines.

The WSC organizations instituted the patent policy in 2007, with the goal of promoting greater awareness and practical guidance for participants of technical bodies in the case that patent matters arise. The policy encourages early disclosure and identification of patents that may relate to standards under development, as greater transparency promotes efficiency and helps avoid potential patent right issues in standards development.

ANSI and Patent Policy

The ANSI Patent Group, a standing committee of the ANSI Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee (IPRPC), is 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 formulating implementation guidelines. International and other patent policies are also reviewed as needed.

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As part of this implementation, ISO, IEC, and ITU 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.

The updated guidelines for implementation of the patent policy are intended to clarify and facilitate implementation of the policy, which ultimately services to benefit end-users and industry. It encourages industry stakeholders to share intellectual property of implementers of standards knowing that their interests will be protected.

The three partner organizations collaborate under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation through several ongoing initiatives, including workshops, education and training, and the promotion of the international standards system as providing a globally recognized framework for the dissemination and use of technologies.

About IEC

IEC is a global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. IEC standards cover a vast range of technologies from power generation, transmission, and distribution to home appliances and office equipment, semiconductors, fiber optics, batteries, flat panel displays, and solar energy, to mention just a few. Wherever you find electricity and electronics, you find the IEC supporting safety and performance, the environment, electrical energy efficiency and renewable energies.

About ISO

ISO is a global network of national standards institutes from 156 countries. It has a current portfolio of 16,500 standards for business, government, and society, covering all three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, environmental, and social. ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment, and services.

About ITU

ITU is a United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, and serves as the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing networks and services. ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems for over 140 years.


Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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