On wednesday February 23, Talkstandards.com held an online open forum to discuss a number of issues related to recent EU policy developments, building upon our December 22nd mini-event “European Interoperability Strategy“. Two communications released late last year by the European Commission related to e-Government and standardization – the European Interoperability Framework version 2 and updated Guidelines for the assessment of horizontal cooperation agreements – were central to the discussion, particularly the inclusion of FRAND licensing within the EIF specification of a open standard.
Posts Tagged ‘IPR licensing & standards’
The topic of the forum this week is: EU standardization – from formalism to pragmatism?
• Was EU standardization based on formalism?
• Is it now based on pragmatism?
• What do these two terms mean anyway?
The H.264 vs WebM discussion goes to the heart of how we define the term ‘standard’. There are many interpretations of what exactly constitutes a standard, but central to the meaning of a standard is the notion of collaboration between companies and the creation of a viable ecosystem. Hence, standards are often tied to the idea of shared control and a defined governance process. Control can take many facets: the ability to contribute to the specification, the ability to change the specification, transparency etc. People often conflate the concept of open standards and open source software and this is one area where confusion can be problematic.
The H.264 standard has been getting a lot of press recently due to the announcement that Google will drop H.264 support from Chrome in favour of WebM, and the subsequent clarification of H.264 support from Google. In this post, we try to clarify the issue from a standards perspective and explain the complexities in the standards and open source world.
In July, Talkstandards.com hosted an open forum which covered current issues related to Transparency in EU Standardization. A number of expert contributors posted a series of articles which covered a broad range of issues related to the general theme of the event. These articles are summarized below. Please follow the links to access the articles in full.
Everyone is in favour of transparency these days – who can be against the idea of more information getting out there to consumers? So, yes, more transparency in standards is broadly a good thing. But standard setting is a complex process and sometimes full transparency is not always possible if it comes at the expense of longer-term corporate business strategies or discretionary negotiations between entities which might be harmed by information entering the public domain.
In June, Talkstandards.com hosted an open forum which discussed the standards system in the People’s Republic of China. A series of articles were posted by contributors which covered a range of issues related to China’s involvement and cooperation with standards setting in the EU, US and abroad.
Chinaʼs interest in developing and implementing a national standards strategy continues to attract widespread international attention. The strategy has been incorporated into the web of policies in support of Chinaʼs ambitious 15 year Medium to Long-term Plan (MLP) for scientific and technological development intended to make China an “innovative society” by the year 2020. As such, the standard strategy can be viewed as an instrument of industrial policy, now widely referred to as Chinaʼs “indigenous innovation” program, the implementation of which is perceived by the companies and governments of the OECD world as a threat to international norms of standardization.
China is on track to become the world’s largest economy some time in the next few decades. This could not have happened without the development and widespread deployment of scores of standards that provide an infrastructure for international trade. The tightly integrated supply chains that now link Chinese firms to Western consumers rely on standards for containerized shipping, electronic order flow and payment, bar codes, and even management systems.
To what extent antitrust law and the rules of standard-setting organisations may limit the patentee’s right to be granted an injunction based on standard-essential patents has been and continues to be one of the hot topics of patent law debate. The ruling of the German Federal Supreme Court “Orange Book Standard” answers a previously controversial question, thus clarifying the role of the defendant in antitrust cases. But many questions remain, writes Tobias Hahn and Klaus Haft.