Regulations on the Handling of Intellectual Property Rights
Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of the Consortium’s activities is to make the ECHONET Specification widely supported and adopted and to promote its dissemination throughout the industry. As such, it is considered desirable to ensure that anyone who wishes to adopt the Specification can make reasonable and non-discriminatory use of the intellectual property rights needed in order to commercialize products in accordance with the Specification. These Regulations shall set forth provisions on the handling of patent rights and utility model rights that are technically essential in order to satisfy the Specification. The handling of other intellectual property rights shall be determined separately as and when necessary.
Article 2 (Definition of Terms)
The terms used in these Regulations shall be defined as set forth below, provided however that definitions already specified in the Member Code and elsewhere shall take precedence.
- （1）ECHONET Specification: Written specifications determined by the Consortium (including the ECHONET CONSORTIUM voluntary organization as the forerunner of the Consortium; the same shall apply hereinafter).
- （2）Admission procedures: The procedures set forth below.
- (i)Consent to the Consortium Articles (hereinafter Articles).
- (ii)Apply for membership.
- (iii)Pay membership dues.
- （3）Members: Parties who have completed the admission procedures and comply with the Articles and Regulations.
- （4）Essential patents: Patent rights (including patent applications) and utility model rights that are essential and unavoidable in order to implement the ECHONET Specification.
- （5）RAND (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms): Non-exclusive licensing under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
Article 3 (Scope of Application)
The scope of application of these Regulations shall extend to all Members of the Consortium.
Article 4 (Review and Disclosure of Specification)
- Review of the Specification by new Members
- （1）Any party wishing to become a new Member shall complete the Consortium admission procedures.
- （2）Upon admission, the new Member may review the ECHONET Specification.
- （3）The period of review by a new Member shall be 60 days after admission.
- （4）During the above-mentioned review period, the new Member shall confirm whether the Specification includes any essential patents owned by itself for which it cannot grant licenses free of royalties or under RAND, or any essential patent for which it owns the exclusive license (hereinafter collectively “essential patents, etc.”).
- （5）If the Specification includes any essential patents, etc., for which licenses cannot be granted free of royalties or under RAND, the new Member may disclose said essential patents and withdraw from membership during the above-mentioned review period, with full reimbursement of membership dues.
- Review of draft Specification by Members
- （1）A review process shall be included in the process of formulating the Specification.
- （2）The review process included in the process of formulating the Specification shall be as set forth below, provided however that the English translation of the Specification shall be outside the scope of the review.
- (i)Review by Managing Members: 14 days
- (ii)Review by Members: 21 days
- (iii)Aggregation of results
- (iv)New Specification approved by Technical Committee
- (v)Specification disclosed to Members
- （3）During the above-mentioned review process, Members shall confirm that the (draft) Specification does not include any essential patents, etc., owned by themselves for which they cannot grant licenses free of royalties or under RAND.
- （4）Obligation to disclose essential patents (when proposed by other Members)
If any essential patents, etc., for which licenses cannot be granted free of royalties or under RAND are included, the Member shall follow the procedures set forth below. If the Member does not follow these procedures, it shall be interpreted that the essential patents, etc., are to be licensed royalty free or under RAND.
- i)Disclose the essential patents, etc., for which licenses cannot be granted free of royalties or under RAND.
- ii)Specifically indicate which parts of the (draft) Specification infringe the essential patents, etc., for which licenses cannot be granted free of royalties or under RAND.
- Obligation to license essential patents (when proposed by themselves)
Members shall grant licenses for essential patents, etc., that are included in their own proposal to other Members free of royalties or under RAND.
- The Consortium shall delete or amend specifications related to essential patents, etc., for which licenses cannot be granted free of royalties or under RAND.
Article 5 (Licensing of Essential Patents, etc.)
- Conditions for licensing essential patents, etc., “to Members” The conditions for licensing essential patents, etc., shall be in accordance with one of the following.
- （1）Licensing free of royalties.
- （2）Licensing under RAND.
- License agreements
License agreements between parties who license essential patents (hereinafter “essential patent licensors”) and Members who receive the licenses shall be concluded directly between the essential patent licensors and the Members receiving the licenses, and shall not be mediated by the Consortium.
Article 6 (Principle of Reciprocity)
Members shall bear no obligation to grant licenses to Members who do not grant licenses under the conditions for licensing essential patents, etc., set forth in Article 5 above.
Article 7 (Other Obligations)
Members shall bear no obligation to grant licenses beyond the content set forth in these Regulations.
Article 8 (Transfer or Acquisition of Essential Patents)
- The obligations set forth in these Regulations shall remain in force even if an essential patent or exclusive license to an essential patent has been assigned or transferred to a third party.
- If a Member newly acquires an essential patent or is assigned an exclusive license to an essential patent from a third party, the same shall be licensed to other Members free of royalties or under RAND.
Article 9 (Survival of License)
The obligation of Members with respect to essential patents in the Specification formulated during the period of their membership shall remain in force even after they withdraw their membership, and shall survive for the term of validity of said essential patent.
Article 10 (Effectuation, Revision and Repeal)
- These Regulations shall come into force as of the date on which they are enacted by the Board of Directors.
- These Regulations shall be revised or repealed by resolution of the Board of Directors.
- [Revision History]
- April 21, 2014 Enacted