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The policy of the IEEE has long been to avoid embodying patented technology in IEEE standards unless the technology would be made available to users of the standard on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) royalty terms and conditions. But a recurrent problem has been that, once a standard was in place, the patentee and the standard users would have different ideas about what was RAND. The IEEE, with support from the Antitrust Division in the form of business review clearance letter, has now adopted new bylaws on standard-setting activity under which the working group, once it learns that access to a patent may be necessary to implement a given standard, will ask for a letter of assurance from the relevant patent owner, indicating its commitment to RAND licensing. Does the new bylaw go far enough?
law, standardization, antitrust policy, RAND, patents, licensing
Richard Stern, "Antitrust Division Gives IEEE Standard Setters the Okay to Ask Patentees How RAND They Are", IEEE Micro, vol. 27, no. , pp. 106-109, May/June 2007, doi:10.1109/MM.2007.47
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