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I had the pleasure of addressing the Licensing Executives Society (LES) on 29 September 2008 at the NH Barbizon Palace Hotel in the center of Amsterdam. They were mostly lawyers, but I had fun anyway.

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  1. 1. Open Standards and Intellectual Property Rights Trond Arne Undheim, PhD Director Standards Strategy and Policy EMEA Licensing Executives Society, Amsterdam, 29.09.08 http://www.2008.les-benelux.org/
  2. 2. The European Standards Policy Environment European Commission European Parliament Member States The Council <ul><li>Benchmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative initiative </li></ul><ul><li>ITRE-committee </li></ul><ul><li>27 Member States </li></ul><ul><li>EU27+ </li></ul><ul><li>Influence in Asia and Latin-America </li></ul><ul><li>Decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Directives </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions </li></ul>EU
  3. 3. <Insert Picture Here> “ Opting for open standards is a very wise business decision indeed.” Nelly Kroes DG COMPETITION
  4. 4. Why Open Standards are important <ul><li>Enabling innovation (TCP/IP). </li></ul><ul><li>Boosting transparency (PDF). </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding lock-in (ODF). </li></ul><ul><li>Creating market stability (HTTP). </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring efficiency and economic growth (Internet). </li></ul>
  5. 5. <Insert Picture Here> “ The Internet is fundamentally based on the existence of open, non-proprietary standards.” Vint Cerf Father of the Internet
  6. 6. The Interoperability Imperative <ul><li>Open standards facilitate and ensure interoperability. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet software standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created in new breed of global, informal standards venues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different from previous IT or hardware standards. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My software needs to talk to your software. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Characteristics of Open Standards <ul><li>The controversial EIF 1.0 (2004) definition: </li></ul><ul><li>“Adopted and maintained via an open process in which all interested parties can participate, </li></ul><ul><li>Published and available freely or at a nominal charge, </li></ul><ul><li>For which the intellectual property – i.e. patents covering (parts of) the standard – is made irrevocably available on a royalty free basis, </li></ul><ul><li>There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard”. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: European Interoperability Framework, European Commission IDABC Programme. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Updates in the draft EIF 2.0 (2008) <ul><li>Maintains a clear definition of Open Standards and specifications. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances uniformity among National Interoperability Frameworks across EMEA and beyond. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizes there is an “openness continuum”. </li></ul><ul><li>Handles life-cycle issues, i.e. emerging standards. </li></ul><ul><li>But: the governance model and tools to ensure compliance are still relatively weak. </li></ul>
  9. 9. European Standardization <ul><li>Legal base </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Council Decision 87/95 (ICT standardisation in public sector). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directive 98/34 (formally recognised standards organisations). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>European standards organizations (ESOs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CENELEC (1959) – Electro-technical standards. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CEN (1961) – European pre-standards and standards in ICT. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ETSI (1988) – Telecom standards. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Ideal Software Standards Ecosystem Global Royalty free Disclosed ex ante <ul><li>Healthy process </li></ul><ul><li>Non-RF as the exception </li></ul><ul><li>Certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Late disclosure as the exception </li></ul><ul><li>Wide implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Actual interoperability </li></ul>Open
  11. 11. Transparent Patent Licensing <ul><li>Prevent IPR obstacles in software industry. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prefer ex ante policy, so we can know the terms early. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If disclosure is not made, we favor default royalty free. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RAND is too vague, gives patent holders ex post leverage. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less burdensome rules for standards participation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards participants are not lawyers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All users should have de facto access. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure interoperability by open standards. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conditions On The Ground <ul><li>Standards edging higher on government agendas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability Frameworks in many EU Member States. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Denmark and The Netherlands leading the way. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EU considers standards reform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Has 20 year old regulatory framework. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot reference fora/consortia standards in legislation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Some actors resist change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>European Standards Organizations (CEN/CENELEC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Standards Organizations (DIN, AFNOR, BSI) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still selling standards. Need a new business model. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusion <ul><li>Open standards are market-led activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Governments must reference fora/consortia standards. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We must all help to simplify the standards environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We must try to prevent IPR obstacles by transparency. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In software, ex ante disclosure is important. If not in place, default royalty free can ensure interoperability. </li></ul><ul><li>Open standards must be widely implemented – usage means efficiency, effectiveness – for all actors. </li></ul>