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The General Assembly of Ecma International approved in Montreux (CH) a new "formal" Ecma-wide Royalty-Free (RF) patent policy option
How is this done and what are the rationales for such extension?
- First of all there is no change to the original RAND patent policy of Ecma International, which has been modelled after the ITU/ISO/IEC patent policies (http://www.ecma-international.org/...). This policy shall remain the basic (default) policy for Ecma International.
- However, under certain, well-defined circumstances, for specific standardization projects (where the market requires so, like for some web scripting languages) the GA may approve in advance the use of an optional Royalty-Free patent policy. Such Royalty-Free mode does not provide a full guarantee that all possible relevant patents in the future standard will be entirely RF (there is always a possibility of unknown 3rd party patents in a standard) but at least there is a strong commitment by the standard developing group itself to create such RF standard. This group behavior is very often missing when creating standard under a RAND patent policy. The new standard with RF properties can significantly enhance its market acceptance in certain use segments (important for example for base internet / web standards).
- Only very few SDOs can offer such kind of policy option. Therefore it is expected that this new option will provide Ecma International a competitive advantage vis-à-vis those SDOs who can only offer RAND patent policies. Ecma International hopes to encourage especially some open source standardization projects to come to Ecma.
- A further advantage: if an SDO with RF patent policy (e.g. in a RF W3C standard) wants to include in his standard such RF Ecma standard as normative reference, then the referencing standard will also remain RF. But in case such a normative reference is made to a RAND SDO produced standard (like of IETF, ITU, ISO, etc.) the RF status of the referencing standard is actually unsure.
The Ecma-wide RF patent policy is documented http://www.ecma-international.org/...
For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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