Communication & Knowledge: the new IT revolution

Why contribute to this Conference?

It is about Patents and Standards indeed, but mostly about the recent developments on Intellectual Property Law.

All in all, the main reason for our regular attendance is that it allows to meet radically different types of practitioners: IP lawyers, judges, engineers, ...

This year, CommLedge has participated to two panels, each with an associated presentation.

IBC Legal Conferences' 7th annual

Standards & Patents 2013

Successfully navigating the complex interplay between standards, intellectual property and competition law

December 3-4, 2013 - London

Panel: Where is the Protection for Innovation?

Main questions addressed
  • Does the present IP system offer incentives to motivate innovation and commercialisation of new technology?.
  • Is the system flexible enough to fit SMEs/startups as well as established players?
  • Do market forces remedy issues or do we need solutions?

Addressing the question from a standards perpective

The scope of our presentation is the first and third questions above, seen from the standards angle in the ICT industry. From this point of view, the underlying economic approach (rewarding the innovator) is not addressed: standardization is not supposed to discuss such issues: no (explicit) business models, no licensing schemes, etc.

The angle chosen is more about where innovation is driving the Standards & Patents (S&P) system in ICT and how this should be dealt with. The main point here is that the accumulation of various innovation schemes necessitates that all the corresponding S&P paradigms be supported. It is a question of coexistence of the existing one and the those which are about to emerge.

Regarding the later, it seems that we are facing a potential "fork" in standardization where one thread will be about standardization as usual (when it is about large systems and systems of systems, within and outside the ICT industry) and the other one about "mash-up" (where Open Source Software (OSS) plays an important role). We consider that the evolution of the S&P (and associated Law) should ensure that the "fork" does not materialize and that standards and OSS be working much more collaboratively.

Panel: The implications of Open Standards

Main questions addressed
  • What are open standards?.
  • Is more legislation on the cards?
  • Open technology platforms - the business model of the future?

Addressing the question from a standardization perpective

The scope of our contribution to discussion (there was no presentation prepared) is the relationship between Open Standards and Open Source Software.

First of all, the definition of Open Standards varies regarding the underlying business model of participating entities (in particular those from industry). It is clear that all standardization organizations (SDOs as well as globally recognized fora) are doing Open Standards.

The point made above (in the other panel) about the "fork" is also applicable here. There is a variety of underlying reasons and ways to go to ICT standardization, and dealing with large systems and systems of systems is not dealing with "mash-up" (and the role of Open Source Software). Actually, it is very unlikely that this "fork" does materialize since, as the most obvious example, it will be necessary for all OSS APIs that will be deployed to be dealt with in an open and transparent way: a la Open Standards.

In conclusion, Open Standards with a strong substrate of Open Source Source Software is going to be one (and not the only one) models of the future.