OASIS Revises Intellectual Property Rights Policy

International Standards Consortium Allows Committee Members to Choose IPR Mode

Boston, MA, USA; 7 Feb 2005 — OASIS, the international e-business standards consortium, revised its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy to enhance support for open standards development. The policy updates OASIS rules to take into account significant changes in the way that intellectual property laws and practices affect e-business standards. Rather than mandate a single set of IPR terms for all work, the OASIS IPR Policy allows members of each of its more than 60 Committees to choose for themselves one of three IPR modes best suited to their specific effort. OASIS Committees elect to work under "Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (RAND)," "Royalty-Free (RF) on RAND Terms," or "RF on Limited Terms" modes.

"The policy clearly acknowledges the importance of creating royalty-free standards by providing two RF modes, while still allowing for work to be done under RAND terms when members prefer that option," explained Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "While nearly all OASIS Standards can be implemented today on a royalty-free basis, the revised IPR Policy helps to clarify our open standards process and assure implementers worldwide that OASIS Standards can be adopted with confidence."

Gartner research director, Ray Valdes, applauded the flexibility of the OASIS IPR Policy, noting, "The diversity of information technology systems built today is increasing significantly. This is not only with regard to their scope, complexity, and interoperability, but also in the way these systems are built, and in the types of organizations that build them. These changes require standards organizations to articulate a broader set of approaches to intellectual property issues than has been the case in the past."

As specified in the new OASIS IPR Policy, the RAND mode defines a basic set of minimal terms a patent holder is obliged to offer (such as granting a license that is worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, reasonable and non-discriminatory, etc.) and leaves all other non-specified terms to negotiations between the patent holder and the implementer seeking a license. The Royalty-Free (RF) on RAND Terms mode operates in the same manner as RAND, but does not permit the patent holder to charge fees or royalties for the license. The RF on Limited Terms mode is similar to the RF on RAND Terms mode, but it specifies the exact Royalty Free licensing terms and conditions that may be included in a patent holder's license and that must be granted upon request without further negotiations.

"In today's world, no standards organization can guarantee that its work is or will remain completely free of patent claims. The most any standards body can do is provide clear, equitable regulations to govern the behavior of those who participate in its work and publicly document their licensing commitments," said Jim Hughes of Hewlett Packard, chair of the OASIS Board of Directors. "By giving Committee members the clear choice between RAND, RF on RAND Terms, and RF on Limited Terms, the revised OASIS IPR Policy provides both standard developers and implementers with an equitable framework for contributing and licensing intellectual property."



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 e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 4,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WS-Security, XACML, and XCBF.

Press contact:
Carol Geyer
OASIS Director of Communications
+1.978.667.5115 x209