OASIS Introduces Non-Assertion Mode to Its Intellectual Property Rights Policy for Standards Development

Boston, MA, USA; 15 June 2009 — The Board of Directors of OASIS, the international open standards consortium, has unanimously approved a revision to its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. This revision now offers an added option for new Technical Committees to work under: a Non-Assertion Covenant mode. Non-assertion covenants ensure that organizations or individuals who participate in writing a standard cannot demand royalty or exercise license rights against users or implementors of such approved standards. Qualifying participants or contributors automatically make Non-Assertion Covenants when they work in an OASIS Technical Committee that operates under this new IPR mode.

Since 2005, OASIS has required members to make their participation and contributions available on specific licensing terms. Each OASIS Technical Committee chooses at inception the IPR mode that best meets its needs. The new Non-Assertion mode joins three existing options for OASIS Committees: Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND); Royalty-Free on RAND Terms; and Royalty-Free on Limited Terms. The vast majority of OASIS Committees currently operate under a Royalty-Free mode. The requirements of each IPR mode are defined in detail in the OASIS IPR Policy.

The Non-Assertion mode is welcomed by many individuals and organizations that recognize it as a way of reducing the burden of conducting extensive and expensive patent inventory searches as well as a needed relief from patent fear and uncertainty to implementors.

"The Non-Assertion mode offers a great alternative for developers, who see it as a way to simplify their internal approval processes, and for users who seek to eliminate the task of obtaining multiple permissions when implementing OASIS Standards," said Eduardo Gutentag of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS Board of Directors. "The change comes in response to feedback we received from our members and is in keeping with the global user community's increasing demand for more freely available and open solutions."

OASIS Technical Committees that form on or after 4 August 2009 will have the option to choose the Non-Assertion mode; the change does not affect any of the existing Committees currently operating under one of the other IPR modes.

Additional information:

OASIS IPR Policy

About OASIS:

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, and other applications. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org

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