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Subject: Member Review--Draft revised IPR Policy

OASIS Members:

On behalf of the OASIS Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce the
start of a member review period for a draft of the revised OASIS IPR Policy.
The OASIS Board has been working on the IPR policy revisions for over a
year, and feels that it is at a stage where we need member review and

The current OASIS IPR Policy was developed in 1998, and reflected industry
best practices as known at that time. Since then, intellectual property
issues, specifically around patent licensing, have become a much more
visible part of the standards development process. The Board decided that
the IPR Policy should be updated to more closely meet current industry
practices and the needs of the OASIS membership. The Board also wanted to
clarify some areas of the existing policy based on experience with the
policy over the past few years.

The primary goal of updating the IPR Policy is to bring OASIS policies in
line with common industry best practices and to remove ambiguities and
uncertainty that exist in the current policy, while reflecting the interests
and concerns of the diverse OASIS membership and its wide range of technical
work. The revised IPR Policy is also intended to encourage submissions of
technical specifications initiated elsewhere to be brought to OASIS, to
encourage formation of new technical specifications and best practice
recommendations to be developed by interested parties within OASIS and to
encourage adoption of OASIS Standards on a global basis and across

The new OASIS IPR Policy addresses issues such as:
* Clarifying process and policy ambiguities;
* Clarifying member obligations to the OASIS policies;
* Clarifying eligibility rules for Individual Members;
* Establishing clear licensing commitments and royalty terms for
participants in each Technical Committee;
* Requiring that licenses be available to implement OASIS Standards and
* Providing a range of licensing modes for TCs appropriate for the breadth
of OASIS membership and topics under development; and
* Ensuring that appropriate licenses are in place for member prototyping.  

The draft of the revised IPR Policy and the Transition Policy is being
distributed to the OASIS membership for their review and feedback. Your
comments on the draft documents will be sent to the Board for their
consideration. Proposed changes that the Board accepts will be incorporated
into the final documents.

As specified in the organization's Bylaws, the OASIS Board of Directors is
responsible for all OASIS policies and procedures, and the Board will vote
to approve the revised IPR Policy and TC Process.

There are three documents associated with this member review:
* The document containing the draft revised OASIS IPR Policy is found at
* The Transition Policy defining how members and TCs will transition to the
new IPR Policy is found at
* A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document explaining the new IPR Policy,
the reasoning behind it, and the Transition Policy, is found at

Members should note that while the draft document is fairly complete, there
is are instances of alternative wording in the draft IPR Policy.  This is at
lines 311-315 and 336-340, where the alternative wording deals with the
question of bilateral vs. universal reciprocity; the Board would like
particular comment on this topic. The language currently states that
Obligated Parties MAY ask for reciprocity, so there would appear to be 3
possible choices for reciprocity: bi-lateral, universal, or either type.

The member review of the draft of the new OASIS IPR Policy starts on 9 July,
and ends on 10 September. I urge you to read and familiarize yourself with
the draft, consult with your organization's corporate counsel as
appropriate, and submit your comments for consideration by the OASIS Board. 

You may submit comments to the Board by sending them to
ipr-member-review@lists.oasis-open.org.  Only OASIS members may submit
comments to this address. All of these submissions will be available to the
OASIS Board of Directors, and will be reviewed and taken into account when
the Board takes final action on the new policy, after the review period
closes on 10 September 2004.  The Board's IPR Subcommittee also may update
the IPR Policy FAQ during this review period, to reflect newly-raised or
common concerns.  We appreciate your input and your assistance in improving
OASIS processes.

On behalf of the OASIS Board of Directors, 

Patrick Gannon
President & CEO

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