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Ecma International approves new Patent Policy Document (“Code of Conduct in Patent Matters”)


Geneva, 22 December 2009

The Ecma General Assembly held on December 3, 2009 in Mountain View, CA, USA has unanimously approved a new version of the Ecma Patent policy called “Code of Conduct in Patent Matters”.

The new policy has been modeled after the joint Patent Policy of ITU/ISO/IEC, but basic concepts of the previous Ecma patent policy were retained.

Ecma created its first policy on patents in 1963. Ecma has periodically reviewed and revised its patent policy to provide additional clarification and to address new issues. Ecma believes that these changes will provide a more effective framework for addressing the issues that arise when patented technology is included in Ecma international standards. The default option for necessary patented technology to be incorporated into an Ecma International standard is still RAND (Reasonable and non-discriminatory), but the policy also allows a RF (royalty free and other RAND terms) option. The Policy also clarifies that different patents of a patent holder may be subject to different licensing statement options and under what circumstances a patent holder may re-designate a previously committed license statement option. It further clarifies the extent to which a patent holder’s licensing commitment will also apply to revised versions of an Ecma standard.

The new patent policy of Ecma is available from the Ecma International website.

Ecma International Leadership Comments

Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International said “I am very glad that the Ecma GA has approved a new patent policy that makes some important clarifications and addresses new issues to improve the value of the Ecma patent policy to its membership and the broader set of stakeholders that rely on Ecma International Standards.”

Paul Weijenbergh, President of Ecma International said “The alignment of the new patent policy with ITU/ISO/IEC continues our commitment to providing standards that are of use to the broad international community. The new policy provides a more robust framework for the patent holders who contribute innovative technologies to Ecma International Standards and for the broad community of implementers who want to effectively make use of them.”

About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Experts from industry and other organizations work together at Ecma to develop standards. Ecma submits its work for approval as ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC JTC 1 and ETSI standards and is a frequent practitioner of “fast-tracking” of specifications through the standardization process in international standards organizations. Ecma publications can be downloaded free of charge from the Ecma International website.

For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email: