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 ITU Workshop: “Intellectual Property Rights and ICT standards implementation”
 Geneva, 01 July 2008 Contact: 
In 2007, the world’s leading international standards organizations, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) adopted a Common Patent Policy to harmonize approaches to including patented technology in standards.

In today’s commercial world, especially in information and communication technologies (ICT), it is difficult to develop technical standards without implicating patents. It is important to find the right balance between the interests of all of the relevant stakeholders, including patent holders, implementers of the standard, and end-users while seeking to enable solutions to market-driven needs on a global basis. The common policy provides reassurance to industry that its interests are protected when sharing intellectual property with implementers of standards.

The policy adopted by the three organizations strongly encourages the disclosure of patented technology which is necessary for the implementation of a standard as early as possible. It allows for companies’ innovative technologies to be included in standards – and broadly shared within the industry - as long as such intellectual property is made available under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions.
This workshop is being convened to provide a forum, hosted by the ITU, to discuss current issues relating to the inclusion of patented technology in standards and the patent policy approaches to address those issues. International experts from both the public and private sectors from around the world will help provide an overview of the issues and share their insights on present and future developments.

The workshop will feature three panels of distinguished experts from different regions of the world.
  • The first panel will focus on the current perspectives of representatives from the public sector on some of the current issues being debated. It will also discuss the role of government in providing input on patent policy approaches being considered or adopted by standards-setting organizations.
  • The second panel will discuss the views and role of Government Patent Offices in standards IPR policy debates. It will also explore the possible interfaces that such Offices might have with standards-setting organizations and whether there is an opportunity for them to work more closely together.
  • The third panel will focus on the current IPR policy debates taking place within standards-setting bodies from different geographical regions. These organizations and their stakeholders often deliberate whether certain proposals to revise their operative patent policy will – or will not - improve the standards-setting process and make it more effective or efficient. The panelists will provide insight into the issues recently or currently being debated at the standards-setting organization they each represent and the conclusions that were reached.

The exchange of ideas and experiences facilitated by this workshop will provide valuable insight and input that can help to guide future discussion of the related issues – both at the ITU and in other fora.

Session topics will include:
  1. Governments’ Perspectives on Standards and IPR Policy Issues
  2. PTO perspectives on Standards and IPR Issues
  3. Standards-setting bodies’ Perspectives on Standards and IPR Issues
Who should attend?
This workshop should be of interest to a range of different stakeholders from around the world – whether they are participants in or beneficiaries of the standardization process, industry representatives, government officials or standards body experts.
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