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ANSI Announces 2017 Legal Issues Forum: Patent Policies and Licensing Assurances


The Institute has applied to offer Continuing Legal Education Credits for Course

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum with the 2017 theme Patent Policies and Licensing Assurances, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. The event is part of World Standards Week(WSW), a series of meetings and celebrations hosted annually by ANSI, coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system.

The event will explore patent policies and the licensing assurances received by standards developing organizations (SDOs). Because standards may include technology that is the subject of patents, many standards organizations adopt patent policies that seek to balance the rights of patent holders (to be fairly compensated for the use of their patented technology) with the rights of implementers of the standard (to reasonably access essential technology). For their part, SDOs must develop policies that ensure that the proper balance is struck.

While SDO patent policies vary widely, ANSI achieves a balance by requiring accredited SDOs to receive an assurance - sometimes called a Letter of Assurance (LoA) - from the holder of an essential patent claim that it will license its patent on reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms to applicants desiring to utilize the license for the purpose of implementing the standard.

Panelists at the 2017 Legal Issues Forum will address how SDOs acquire LoAs, the essential elements of a LoA, how SDOs know if the LoA it has received complies with its own (or ANSI's) patent policy, and what an SDO does with a LoA once it is received.

Both forum segments will feature 7-minute opening statements from each panelist, followed by 75 minutes of moderated discussion, and audience Q&A. Henry Wixon, Chief Counsel, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will moderate both sessions. The companies' perspectives panel - featuring speakers from Ericsson, Qualcomm, WilmerHale, and O'Donnell PLLC will address LoAs from the point of view of patent holders. The second panel, with panelists from Biddle Law, Dorsey and Whitney, Morgan Lewis, and Gesmer Updegrove, will provide SDO legal teams' perspectives.

The annual event is $249 for ANSI members and $350 for non-members. ANSI members and all interested stakeholders including those from government, industry, business, consumer groups, and academia are encouraged to attend and share their perspectives on these critical issues.

As with the 2016 Legal Issues Forum, ANSI has applied to offer Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for this conference. CLE is professional education for attorneys following their admission to the bar. Should ANSI be approved, the Institute will issue another announcement and advise all registrants, so that they may take advantage of the CLE credits as appropriate.

The draft agenda and registration details are available on the Legal Issues Forum event webpage. For more information on this event topic, see the ANSI Patent Policy, ANSI Patent Policy Guidelines, and ANSI Patent Letter of Assurance Database.

ANSI's World Standards Week, to be held this year from October 16-20, is an annual event where nearly 400 members of the standards and conformity assessment community come together in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. For more information, including registration for other WSW events and details on all meetings and conferences, visit

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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