Brussels, 26 October 2021 – On 15 October, IEEE concluded a public consultation that sought input on aspects of its 2015 Patent Policy update. 100 respondents urged the IEEE-Standards Association’s Board of Governors to keep the patent policy intact and highlighted the benefits resulting from the certainty and clarity that the 2015 Patent Policy update has provided. In contrast only 20 respondents sought changes to the Patent Policy, most of which are not significant contributors to IEEE standards. This overwhelming 5 to 1 ratio in respondents urging IEEE to maintain its current policy patent policy shows unambiguous and wide support for maintaining the current patent policy as is and without any changes.
Respondents supporting the current patent policy represented a wide variety of sectors including the information and communication technologies sector, network operators, consumer electronics, software developers, system integrators chip manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, automotive suppliers, connected health companies, and many others. These companies ranged from small companies such as start-ups to global corporations and included entities headquartered in North America, Europe (e.g., Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania, UK), India, China, Japan and Korea.
FSA strongly endorsed IEEE’s current patent policy, noting that IEEE’s standard setting activities have flourished under this policy. It noted that the success of IEEE’s Patent Policy “demonstrates the appeal that IEEE holds for people looking to develop standards for cutting technologies, many of which will shape the future economy, and the widespread support that IEEE has received from mainstream stakeholders.” FSA further expressed concern that revising the policy “would harm investment incentives and the ability of small and large companies to reliably invest in research and development.” As stated in our submission, FSA believes that “maintaining the terms of the IEEE Patent Policy is fundamental to the success of IEEE standards, the promotion of innovation around IEEE technologies, and the protection of competition and fair-play involving IEEE implementations…” and so we encourage IEEE-SA leadership to continue to support the valuable standardization activities within IEEE-SA by maintaining the current patent policy.
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