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Unicode Consortium Patent Policy

The Unicode Patent Policy is based on the ANSI Patent Policy as of January 1, 2002 as described in Section 1.2.11 of the American National Standards Institute Procedures for the Development and Coordination of American National Standards.

The only changes are to adapt the policy to refer to the Unicode Consortium, The Unicode Standard and Unicode Technical Reports. The section headings maintain the same numbering as the ANSI document to make comparison easier.

1.2.11 Unicode patent policy - Inclusion of Patents in Unicode Publications

There is no objection in principle to drafting a proposed Standard [1] in terms that include the use of a patented item, if it is considered that technical reasons justify this approach.

If the Unicode Consortium receives a notice that a proposed Standard may require the use of a patented invention, the procedures in through shall be followed. Statement from patent holder

Prior to approval of such a proposed Standard, the Consortium shall receive from the identified party or patent holder (in a form approved by the Consortium) either: assurance in the form of a general disclaimer to the effect that such party does not hold and does not currently intend holding any invention the use of which would be required for compliance with the proposed Standard or assurance that:

  1. a license will be made available without compensation to the applicants desiring to utilize the license for the purpose of implementing the standard; or
  2. a license will be made available to applicants under reasonable terms and conditions that are demonstrably free of any unfair discrimination. Record of statement

A record of the patent holder’s statement shall be placed and retained in the files of the Consortium. Notice

When the Consortium receives from a patent holder the assurance set forth in a) or b), the Standard shall include a note as follows:

NOTE – The user’s attention is called to the possibility that compliance with this document may require use of an invention covered by patent rights.

By publication of this document, no position is taken with respect to the validity of this claim or of any patent rights in connection therewith. The patent holder has, however, filed a statement of willingness to grant a license under these rights on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions to applicants desiring to obtain such a license. Details may be obtained from the Unicode Consortium. Responsibility for identifying patents

The Consortium shall not be responsible for identifying all patents for which a license may be required by a Standard or for conducting inquiries into the legal validity or scope of those patents that are brought to its attention.

[1] The term "Standard" in this context refers to to a version of a Unicode Technical Report, or a version of the Unicode Standard itself (including Unicode Technical Annexes).

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