Development of innovative new standards jeopardised by IEEE patent policy

by Keith Mallinson – September 2017

07 September 2017

This paper assesses the practical impact of changes made by the IEEE to its patent policy in March 2015. According to the IEEE, these changes were aimed at protecting implementers from potential ‘patent holdup’. The paper makes an empirical assessment of the most recent available data and demonstrates that a large proportion of technology contributors to IEEE standardisation efforts are unwilling to provide 'positive' Letters of Assurance and are not being willing to grant access to patented technology under the terms of the IEEE's new patent policy. As a result, delays in adopting or implementing IEEE standards and litigation are foreseen, unless clarity and certainty around licensing terms are restored.