The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced that its Board of Directors voted on May 27, 2003 to reaffirm OGC’s intellectual property rights (IPR) policy ). OGC’s IPR policy is designed to protect the Consortium’s standards framework from patents that would impede development of open infrastructure for interoperable geoprocessing. These policies, under review for the last year in OGC, are very similar to those adopted last month by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
OGC manages a global, consensus-based standards process to develop publicly available interface specifications to support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web,
wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.
OGC’s IPR policy works to 1) ensure that OpenGIS specifications are unencumbered, 2) protect the IPR rights of each of its members, 3) make OGC IPR policy clear and available to both members and non-members, and 4) anchor OGC IPR procedures firmly in the mainstream of current standard-setting “best practices.”
OGC’s IPR policy is the responsibility of its Board of Directors and the policy has represented the consortium’s philosophy and practice since OGC’s inception. A number of OGC members with diverse opinions and policies related to IPR have worked with OGC staff to refine the written policy since it was originally published. It also takes into
account the significant patent policy work undertaken at the W3C, which has emerged as the consortium leader in establishing a pragmatic way to successfully develop
royalty-free Web Standards in the current patent environment. The result reflects agreement with the basic goal to preserve a free and open standards-based information
infrastructure. At the same time, the new IPR policy respects the patent rights of member organizations and the value their patents represent.
OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications.