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ITU Workshop on Standards and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Issues
New Delhi, India, 19-20 December 2011 19 December 2011
Mr Chandra Prakash, Member Technology, Telecom Commission, Government of India
Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta, Chairman HMR Institute of Technology and management
Professor Ramjee Prasad, Founding Chairman of GISFI
Mr T R Dua, Vice Chairman of GISFI
Dr Debabrata Nayak, Huawei
Mr. Ajay Ranjan Mishra, Nokia Siemens Networks
Ladies and Gentlemen
Colleagues and friends

It is a pleasure to be back in India with you again and to welcome you to this workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

I would like to thank GISFI for hosting this event and in particular Professor Ramjee Prasad for his tireless efforts to bring the event to India. I also thank the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and my friend Mr Jha without whose support we would not be here.

In addition I would like to thank our sponsors Huawei and NSN, and the steering committee for the many hours that they have given to assemble the excellent list of experts that you see in the programme.

As many of you know GISFI became a Sector Member of ITU-T in 2010, as did the ITU-APT Association of India in 2009. Last year GISFI was kind enough to co-host our academic conference – Kaleidoscope - in Pune, together with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and the Singhad Technical Education Society.

That event was a great success and led to increased interest in India in the work of ITU and I am pleased that STES and Professor Prasad's university, Aalborg, were two of the first new academia members of ITU. I am very pleased to see Professor Inamdar of STES here with us and thank him and his team for supporting this event.

ITU started to welcome academia as members as from the start of this year. We now have over 30 academic members with many more in the process of joining. To grow at such a level in such a short time is surely testimony to the value that ITU can offer academia and in turn the great importance that ITU attaches to academic input.

Thanks to GISFI we have also benefited from greater participation from India in our standards making activity and we are very grateful to have received increased financial contribution from the government of India which has helped off-set the reductions made by some European countries.

ITU’s standards activity now extends far beyond telecommunications and we now have standards for multimedia, IPTV, video codecs, videoconferencing; electromagnetic compatibility; in-car entertainment, broadband cable and TV;

Quality of Service and Quality of Experience specifications for various applications; and cybersecurity. We have new activities on Smart Grids, Cloud Computing, Intelligent transport systems, Internet of Things, and Machine-to-machine communications.

Collaboration with other major standards bodies is essential if ITU is to develop truly international standards meeting the requirements of all ITU's memberships: 193 governments; over 700 private sector entities; and now academia. We do not want to see national or regional standard bodies developing competing standards but rather work with ITU to avoid duplication and offer open non-discriminatory international standards allowing interoperability on a world-wide scale. This is why this year ITU signed an MoU with the standards bodies of China, Korea, and Japan: ARIB; CCSA; TTA and TTC. I believe a major step forward for GISFI would be a similar agreement with ITU.

When I say open standards I mean standards developed in an open and transparent manner based on consensus and in which any intellectual property rights can be acquired either free of charge or on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, so that anyone anywhere can develop products and services to these standards and enter into a global market.

As a standards making organization ITU has to try balance user requirements and the intellectual property requirements of the originator of the technology.

With the increasing convergence of information and communications technology, the three international standards bodies ITU, ISO and IEC began to discuss harmonizing IPR policy approaches through their World Standards Cooperation initiative. After much deliberation, the Common Patent Policy was announced in March 2007.

The Common Patent Policy allows for companies’ innovative technologies to be included in standards as long as intellectual property is made available to all implementers under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

Apart from a few rare cases, the ITU has had very few conflicts or problems stemming from the inclusion of IPR rights in a Recommendation.

ITU has also developed and revised guidelines relating to other intellectual property issues that can arise in connection with standardization.

One set of guidelines addresses the inclusion of copyrighted software in ITU-T Recommendations,. And the ITU also has a set of guidelines that addresses the inclusion of “Marks” (such as trademarks or service marks) in Recommendations.

I mentioned earlier the wide range of standards ITU is now working on. This has led to the need for better dialogue between industry sectors that have little history of having worked together, such as the automotive industry, the utilities companies, and the home entertainment industry.

This blending of technologies across several industry sectors has led to a need for greater cooperation and collaboration with a variety of standards bodies across the world.

Similarly, there is a growing need for ITU Recommendations to reference these other bodies standards, just as they are increasingly referencing ITU Recommendations.

This brings up an important issue with regard to patent policies and standards. Before a standards organization references a standard from another standards body, should it evaluate the patent policy of that other standards body to ensure that it is consistent with the patent policy of the standards organization wishing to make the reference?

ITU-T has collaboration guidelines as to which organizations ITU-T Study Groups can seek collaboration. The ITU-T also has generic procedures for referencing other organizations’ documents.

The ITU strongly encourages other standards developers, including forums and consortiums, to adopt a similar IPR policy to the Common Patent Policy so that continued collaboration and convergence of technology can occur with greater efficiency. I therefore strongly recommend it to GISFI.

We hope that the exchange of ideas and experiences from many different perspectives during this workshop will provide valuable insight and input that can help to guide future discussion of the related issues – both in ITU – as well as GISFI.

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to all distinguished speakers who have graciously agreed to participate, and share their expertise on the topic.

Before closing let me mention some important ITU events next year. In January we have the Radio Assembly followed by the World Radiocommunication Conference, and at the end of the year in Dubai we will have the Global Standards Symposium followed by the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly, and the World Conference on International Telecommunications which will revise the International Telecommunications Regulations for the first time in 24 years. Clearly these will be very significant events and there will be a series of regional preparatory events leading up to them, including a joint ITU/APT information session on the WCIT in Bangkok beginning on 6 February. The outcome of this conference will have great significance on the industry and I hope that you will take an active part in these preparations and the events themselves.

Thank you for your attention and I wish you a very a productive and enjoyable exchange.


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