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IEEE Statement Regarding Updating of its Standards-Related Patent Policy
8 February 2015 - IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
The IEEE Standards Association (“IEEE-SA”) provides a neutral body to foster the development of standards. IEEE-SA has established rules that must be followed in all IEEE standards development activities. Those rules require that standards be developed under procedures that incorporate due process, openness, transparency, broad consensus building, and balance without dominance to ensure that all parties are heard. IEEE strives to develop standards that can achieve universal availability and gain widespread adoption in the market.
Patents play an increasingly important role in standards, and IEEE-SA’s rules include provisions relating to the use of patented technology associated with IEEE standards. The policy must balance several concerns, including respect for the rights of patent-holders and assurance that licenses to standards-essential patents are available on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms to all implementers.
On 6 December 2014, IEEE-SA’s Board of Governors approved a proposed update to the IEEE Patent Policy. This update is designed to provide greater clarity and predictability for patent-holders and implementers. The update resulted from a rigorous process over the past two years that included extensive input from a broad range of stakeholders who may choose to develop standards within the IEEE-SA framework. The members of the Board of Governors and its committees all serve as fiduciaries of IEEE who must make decisions in the best interests of IEEE.
On 8 February 2015, the IEEE Board of Directors voted to approve this policy update.
This approved modification of the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board Bylaws will become effective within the first quarter of 2015.