Wednesday, March 10, 2010

India an ideal candidate to propose standards: Dennis Brophy, IEEE-SA

I was fortunate enough to attend the Global Standards at IEEE seminar today in Bangalore, thanks largely to Veeresh Shetty at Mentor Graphics. It was also a pleasure to meet up again with Dennis B. Brophy, Director, Strategic Business Development, Mentor Graphics and IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Chair.Brophy kicked off proceedings with a presentation on the IEEE-SA Corporate Program and the IEEE Entity Standards Development (see image above).

The IEEE-SA corporate program helps the industry to accomplish business objectives. It also provides a venue to nurture emerging and existing technologies. It fosters company based standardization as well. The IEEE also allows for networking within the IEEE-SA corporate constituency.

Brophy highlighted some examples of entity based projects such as batteries, design automation and cognitive radio. According to him, good standards are a blend of technology alternatives, economic needs and global requirements. The IEEE standards are developed throughout the world.

He cited an example of the IEEE P1888 draft standard for ubiquitous green community control networking protocol. This protocol had been proposed by Chinese companies. The corporate project is being developed entirely in Asia.

Brophy added that India is an ideal candidate to propose such types of standards for development.

Dr. Mark Epstein, Senior Vice President, Development, Qualcomm Inc. and IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group member, presented on the IEEE Standards Intellectual Property Rights Policy.

He advised that the IEEE-SA’s patent policy is consistent with those of the ‘Big Is’ — ISO, IEC and ITU, as well as ANSI and other standards development organizations (SDOs).

On the question of who determines essentiality, he said that a court, and not the IEEE, decides on whether a patent is infringed. As per the IEEE-SA model, it is the participants’ obligations to disclose identity of holders of potentially essential patents claims. The IEEE-SA then seeks the LoA (letter of assurance) from the the identified holders. The LoA is irrevocable once submitted and accepted.

Patent policies of many SDOs are said to be Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory terms (RAND) based, and rely on assurance, not disclosure. According to Dr. Epstein, the IEEE’s patent policy is modern and leading edge.

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