IPR & Standardization

Traditionally Innovation Diffusion happens through IPR and the investment in IPR is driven by the economics around it. Similarly, standardization diffusion happens through adoption and is driven by the ability to benchmark and interoperability. So the Questions which arises are:

  1. Can innovation be driven by Standardization?
  2. How should organisations balance its effort in IPR & Standardization?

Assuming there is sustained effort towards patenting the technology on one hand and increased involvement in standardization efforts on another and there is a balance achieved is some state and form, then the next set of questions which arises are:

  1. Should a organisation Patent be taken forward and driven as Standards? If yes, under what conditions?
  2. Are organisations duty bound to disclose information to Standard Setting Organization about their patents? If yes, what happens if there is a miss in disclosure? Will the organisation be forced to give up their patent rights or what happens when organisation refuses to give up the patent rights?

IPR of Organisations involved in Standardization

Including Patents in Standardization is specific to industry with embedded patents in equipment without separate IPR license is an overall growing area of concern. Some of the examples are:

  • Patents based standardization is common in telecommunication industry and leads to situation of SEP (Standards Essential Patents) with cross licences of SEPs among different industry verticals. Standard organizations like IEEE issue call for patents as part of the standardization process.[1]
  • Standardization in consumer electronics industries happen in consortium basis. Patent pool is a common tool used in this industry.
  • Automotive industry uses collaborative method of R&D to handle the patents issue. It happens on Holst Model.[2]
  • Recipients of this draft are invited to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent rights of which they are aware and to provide supporting documentation.”

IPR Policy of Different Standard Bodies.

Intellectual Property Right policy of various standard organizations wherein we ar going to involve ourselves is mandatory step to move ahead. Let us look at some of the IPR Policies of major organizations:

ISO – All drafts submitted for comment shall include on the cover page the following text:

“Recipients of this draft are invited to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent rights of which they are aware and to provide supporting documentation.”[3]

IEEE – Contributions made by participants in an IEEE-SA standards development or Industry Connections activity meeting, whether the contributions are Published or not, are subject to the IEEE-SA Copyright Policy set forth in Clause 7 of the IEEE-SA Standards Board Bylaws.[4]

Conclusion

Generally RAND conditions and presumption of good faith is followed by different standard bodies and SEP (Standard Essential Patents) are discouraged by Standard Setting organizations. If SEP usage can be made more flexible, the IPR in standardizations will see a major boost.


[1] http://standards.ieee.org/faqs/patents.pdf

[2] http://www.holstcentre.com/about-holst-centre/holst-centre-in-a-nutshell/

[3] http://www.iec.ch/members_experts/tools/patents/documents/ITU-T_ITU-R_ISO_IEC_Common_Guidelines_2015-06-26.pdf

[4] http://standards.ieee.org/develop/policies/opman/sect6.html