Department of Justice business review letters applicable to IPR in standards setting;  conduct of standards setting and Association management programs 

(Visitors to this site may also be interested in the companion site ADVISORY OPINIONs AT THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION   applicable to Standards setting organizations)

What is a DOJ Business Review Letter and how does the process work?

  DOJ on line sources )  

GTW gratefully acknowledges the work of DOJ staff  Janie Ingalls in assembling and providing  to GTW the relevant original requests for the business review letter; the press releases and the formal DOJ letters. These documents have been scanned and loaded to this site


Date Number


February 2, 2015 15-1 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated (“IEEE”) Response to FOIA request request for materials that DOJ considered in reviewing and issuing the Business Review letter on February 2, 2015 on the IEEE-SA patent policy.

Additional Materials not available on DOJ website

Press release

Business Review letter 

Original Request for the BRL


“The department supports standards setting organizations’ efforts to clarify their patent licensing policies,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Hesse.  “IEEE’s decision to update its policy, if adopted by the IEEE Board, has the potential to help patent holders and standards implementers to reach mutually beneficial licensing agreements and to facilitate the adoption of pro-competitive standards.  Where, as here, the department does not believe that adoption of a policy change is likely to result in harm to competition, IEEE and other standards setting organizations are free to adopt those modifications to their policies that they believe will benefit their standards setting activities.  The U.S. government does not dictate patent policy choices to private standards setting organizations."
October 2, 2014 14-2 CyberPoint International Press release

Business Review letter 

Original Request for the BRL


DOJ  will not challenge a proposal by CyberPoint International LLC to offer a cyber intelligence data-sharing platform known as TruSTAR.   The TruSTAR platform allows members to share threat and incident data along with attack information and develop remediation solutions to help define more effective strategies across industries to prevent successful cyber attacks
March 26, 2013 13-3 Intellectual Property Exchange International Inc. (“IPXI”) Press release

Business Review letter 

Original Request for the BRL


DOJ declined to state its enforcement intentions regarding the implementation of a proposal submitted by IPXI Holdings LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiary Intellectual Property Exchange International Inc. (IPXI) to develop an exchange for the trading of unit license rights (ULRs) to sets of patents. The department said that although IPXI's proposed exchange potentially could benefit the intellectual property (IP) marketplace and encourage innovation through increased licensing efficiency, sublicense transferability and greater transparency, it also potentially raises competitive concerns. Due to the inherent uncertainties and potential competitive concerns associated with IPXI’s novel business model, the department declined to state its enforcement intentions
August 26, 2011  11-1 Producers Guild of America’s Press release

Business Review letter 

Original Request for the BRL


DOJ will not challenge the Producers Guild of America’s proposed use of a voluntary certification system for film producers
December 16, 2011 11-2 Workers Rights Consortium Press release

Business Review letter 

Original Request for the BRL

DOJ will not challenge proposal by the Worker Rights Consortium to implement the Designated Suppliers Program.  According to the Worker Rights Consortium, the Designated Suppliers Program is designed to enable colleges and universities to ensure that apparel with their school names and insignia is made in factories that provide fair labor conditions for their employees, including paying their employees a living wage.
October 21, 2008 08-4 RFID Consortium LLC

Press Release

Original Request Letter

"The proposed patent-licensing arrangement has the potential to speed up the commercialization of UHF RFID technology, to the benefit of competition and consumers, without harming competition or impeding innovation," said Barnett.

Under the consortium's proposal, an independent licensing agent will offer nonexclusive licenses to the consortium's portfolio of essential UHF RFID patents on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. An independent expert reviews the patents to ensure that the portfolio does not combine patents that would otherwise compete with each other. The owners of the patents will retain the rights to license their patents independently.

In addition, the consortium intends to implement a number of safeguards that appear reasonably tailored to minimize the risk of restricting competition between producers of UHF RFID products and the dampening of incentives to innovate

April 30, 2007 07 - 02 IEEE Standards Association


Press Release


Original Request Letter

IEEE requested a business review letter from the Antitrust Division expressing its enforcement intentions regarding a proposed patent policy that will give holders of patents essential to IEEE standards the option of publicly committing to the most restrictive licensing terms they would offer

The policy will allow patent holders to commit publicly to specific restrictions on their future licensing terms and conditions for the use of patents that are essential to IEEE standards. The Department said that the proposed policy may enable IEEE to make better informed decisions when formulating standards that will benefit consumers.

October 30, 2006 06 - 05 VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA)


Press Release


Original Request June 15, 2006


VITA experience 11/2009


proposed patent policy that requires that patent holders make early disclosures of patents and patent applications that may be essential  and  requires that patent holders declare the maximum royalty rate and most restrictive non-price licensing terms they will require from those who must take a patent license in order to implement the eventual VITA standard.
August 10, 2006 06 - 04 American Trucking Association proposal of  the American Trucking Associations, Inc. ("ATA"), to develop and publicize model agreements between motor carriers and freight transportation brokers
June 19, 2006 06 - 02 Fair Factories Clearinghouse proposal to operate a database that member companies can use to collect and voluntarily share information about workplace conditions in manufacturing facilities around the globe ("the FFC initiative").
February 2, 2006 06-01 American Peanut Shellers Association ("APSA") the grade standards, which have been in effect since at least 1989, appear to be used only as base standards, whereas buyers of shelled peanuts frequently apply their own standards. Finally, because use of the Trading Rules and Grade Standards is voluntary, buyers and sellers of peanuts will remain free to compete by using their own contract terms and standards for peanuts instead of those in the APSA Trading Rules and Grade Standards

November 12, 2002


3G Patent Platform Partnership ("Partnership")

proposed evaluation and licensing regime, called the 3G Patent Platform for Third Generation Mobile Communication Systems 
October 7, 2002


American Welding Society ("the Society") standard that includes specifications for assuring the interoperability of the various devices that make up a robotic welding cell
December 12, 2001 01-09 

Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers  

uniform product ordering formats for products sold to non-profit organizations 
April 7, 2000 00-6

Apparel Industry Partnership 

workplace standards and a means of compliance monitoring that would be used to inform and assure U.S. consumers that compliant footwear and apparel have been made under decent and humane conditions
June 14, 1999


Western Systems Coordinating Council mandatory electrical system reliability system, including sanctions
June 10, 1999 99-2 

Video Information  Computers Patent Licensing

package license of' patents that are "essential" to manufacturing products in compliance with the DVD-ROM and DVD-Video Standard Specifications
December 16, 1998 98-11  Digital Versatile Discs Patent Licensing assemble and offer a package license under the patents of Philips, Sony and Pioneer (collectively, the "Licensors") that are "essential" to manufacturing Digital Versatile Discs ("DVDs")
May 30, 1997 98-B The National Elevator Industry, Inc. development of a more comprehensive escalator safety performance standard than the current American Society of Mechanical Engineers ("ASME") escalator standard, ASME A.17.1
June 26, 1997 98-C  Video Information Patent Licensing assemble and offer a package license under the patents of the Licensors that are "essential" to compliance with the video and/or systems parts of the MPEG-2 standard
October 31, 1996 98-A Apparel Industry  Partnership  discuss and decide how to develop standards to be used to inform and assure U.S. consumers that products have been made under decent and humane conditions
Feb 3, 1998  98-3  Interactive Travel Services Association 1) identification and discussion of common industry practices; (2) promotion of consumer protection; (3) education of consumers as to the features and benefits of on-line travel services; (4) education of travel suppliers re the same; (5) presentation of industry views to governmental bodies; (6) serving as an information clearinghouse; and (7) conducting market research.
July 30, 1997  97-12  Post-Tensioning Institute mandatory member compliance with program for plant certification
June 14, 1996 96-13 Transportation Claims and Prevention  Council, Inc Shippers' Bill
and Common Carrier Rate Agreement that would include all of the governing rates and terms within the document itself
September 29, 1995 95-14 Metal Building Manufacturers Association certification under the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Metal Building Certification Program a condition of MBMA membership
January 25, 1994 94-2  Association of Independent  Television Stations voluntary guidelines and viewer advisories to address television violence
December 12, 1993 93-21  The Newspaper Association of America establish a national newspaper network to sell advertising space to national advertisers
November 23, 1993 93-19 American Society of Travel Agents establish Supplier Communication Guidelines
November 12, 1993 93-17  Household Goods Forwarders Association of America regulate membership by excluding firms that have a poor credit history
October 13, 1993 93-14  The Health & Personal Care Distribution data exchange program among its members regarding the transportation and distribution costs of its members' goods sold to wholesale and retail customers
October 1, 1993 93-13  Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association limit the annual increase in the average change in the prices of  prescription drug products
December 31, 1992 92-9 Southeastern Peanut Association shipping and delivery instructions; sampling methods and abitration;  standards for various categories of unshelled peanuts and certain chemical testing
October 22, 1992 92-6  Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (GSA) Inc. provide oil companies with market based rate estimates
June 19, 1990 90-2 Illinois State Bar Association model standard real estate contract for use in residential real estate transactions in Illinois
July 21, 1989


Reinsurance Hazardous Waste Study Group model environmental claims form
May 11, 1989 89-5 Southeastern Peanut Association general contract terms; standards for  various peanut grades; shipping instructions, methods for resolving weight discrepancies, methods of sampling and handling
February 28, 1989 89-2 Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers foam research and development committee to engage in plant scale applications testing of possible substitutes for CFCs in manufacture of polyisocyanurate foam insulation
January 18, 1989 89-1 Illinois State Bar Association model standard real estate contract for use in residential real estate transactions in Illinois
November 16, 1988 88-11 American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection  proposal to join an International Group and become a party to the International Group Agreement in order to reduce its members' cost of insurance
September 8, 1998 88-10  Georgia Bankers Association information exchange for banks. savings and loan institutions and credit unions  in Georgia
June 17, 1988 88-7  FRA Shippers Association service contracts and other volume discount freight rates for the ocean transportation of footwear, handbags, luggage and apparel from foreign countries to the US
April 25, 1988 88-6  American Society of Travel Agents requirements for a new tour operator category of associate  membership
January 28, 1987 87-1  National Association of Shippers Agents uniform Storage and Detention code applying to railroad owned truck trailers
October 31, 1986 86-15 Transportation Resources TRIF 100 standard form  contractual  provisions for motor carrier brokers
June 6, 1986 86-9  American Institute of Architects code of Ethics including canons, ethical standards and rules of conduct
January 27, 1986 86-2  American Society of Travel Agents membership criteria that a Travel school would have to meet in order to be admitted as a member
January 6, 1986 86-1  Data Processing Services Organization voluntary industry standards for a hardware based software protection systems
October 10, 1985  85-23 Manufactured Housing Institute Truth in invoicing practices information  manufacturers of mobile homes should include in their sales invoice statement 
July 8, 1985 85-13  Machinery Dealers National Association obtaining voluntary contributions from trucking companies which carry association  members' products
April 1, 1985 85-7  Agrico Chemicals Co  Amax Chemical committee of participating producers with goal of increasing world wide demand for phosphate fertilizer products
December 20, 1984 84-19 Airlines Reporting Corporation accreditation program for travel agents and Area Settlement Plan central clearinghouse for agents to report and settle airline ticket sales
December 14, 1984 84-17 American Short Line Railroad Association negotiating joint-line railroad rates with directly connecting railroads that participate in an interline movement
October 12, 1984 84-14 Direct Broadcast Satellite Association standards committee for the purpose of formulating and recommending voluntary technical standards for the provision of direct broadcast satellite service
September 5, 1984 84-13 Amusement & Music Operators Association proposed legislation concerning royalties between representatives of the jukebox industry and representatives of music  copyright owners
August 23, 1984  84-11  Consulting Engineers Council of Metropolitan DC provision in code of ethics stating it is unethical for council members to submit a deceptively low bid
July 11, 1984  84-10  Tri-State Investment Foundation facilitate loans  from member  funds for constructions projects in the Cincinnati area
January 24, 1984 84-1 National LP Gas Association promote the use of propane as an automobile fuel through national advertising
September 21, 1983 83-18 Center for Advanced TV Services promote exclusively basic as opposed to applied research in sophisticated television sciences
August 26, 1983 83-15 Consulting Engineers Council of Metropolitan DC actions purportedly to prevent members from submitting deceptively low bids to clients raise serious antitrust concerns
February 19, 1982 82-6 Maryland Health Care Association identify problems or discrepancies in hospital utilization that might be corrected through changes in health benefits packages
January 13, 1982 82-2 Transportation  Association of America transportation trade show where one to one meetings between numerous freight carriers and shippers can occur 
January 8, 1982 82-1  Specialty Equipment Market Association penalize members for conduct SEMA deems not to be in the interests of the association
May 1, 1981 81-6  Hawaii Trucking Association join with other businesses in seeking damages from a water common carrier for delays in loading and unloading at terminal facilities 
March 21, 1985 81-5 New York State Association of Service Stations establishment of a buying cooperative
December 15, 1980 80-27 National Electrical Contractors Association take certain group  action with respect to contract terms 
  80-24 Associated Builders and Contractors  
October 31, 1980 80-22 Johnson & Johnson disseminate point of sale warnings  to retailers regarding the suspected association between the use of tampons and the newly-discovered disease of toxic shock syndrome
August 1, 1980 80-15 Outdoor Power Equipment Institute voluntary noise level disclosure program
July 3, 1980 80-14 American Land Development Association standards of conduct and disclosure for members dealing in condominium time-sharing rights
May 23, 1980 80-9  Mechanics Lien Institute establish a mechanics lien program to preserve and enforce such lien rights 
July 3, 1979 79-11 American Association of Ophthalmology gather information on the public's perception of eye care services and to disseminate the information to its members
June  27, 1979  79-10  Mortgage Backed Securities Dealers Association self regulatory proposal to address abuses by establishing standards of fair practice
May 8, 1979 79-8  National Association of Marine Services conditions of goods by ship suppliers to ship ownders
January 29, 1979 79-2 Uranium Institute membership and participation in the Uranium Institute by US producers and consumers of uranium
December 8, 1978 78-25 American Society of Magazine Photographers survey of trade practices in photography
November 13, 1978 78-23 World Nuclear Fuel Market reporting uranium price information
October 30, 1978 78-21 National Audio Visual Association certified media specialist program
September 5, 1978 78-18 Asiatic Petroleum Corporation  International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships International chamber's voluntary pollution prevention code
August 4, 1978 78-16 Electronics Industry  Association  (US Department of Commerce) international certification system for electronic components
June 12, 1978 78-15 American Hospital Association voluntary cost containment program
April 16, 1978 78-11   National Soft Drink Association voluntary guidelines for use of metric sized containers in the soft drink industry
January 25, 1978 78-3  Insurance Institute for Research communication requirements between insurance agents and companies and standards for a data communication network that would permit independent agents to communicate with all participating insurance companies 
November 14, 1977 77-24 International Association of Independent Tanker Owners discuss accelerated scrapping of old tankers described as notorious  polluters
September 21, 1977 77-22  Baltimore Association of Minority Contractors give minority contractors 10% of the subcontracting business on certain publicly financed projects
September 1, 1977  77-19 Association of American Publishers copyright clearance center to receive copyright license fees from libraries and others that reproduce journal articles
August 29, 1977 77-18 New York State Bankers Association voluntary consumer mortgage review committee
July 26, 1977 77-17  New Jersey Trade Waste Association help members obtain performance bonds necessary for their work
July 21, 1977 77-14 Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association acquire trademarks of various amateur baseball and softball leagues and then sublicense these trade marks to equipment manufacturers 
March 2, 1977  77-2  International Chiropractors Association peer review system to act as mediators in disputes between third party reimbursement organizations and chiropractors
April 13, 1976 76-10  Texas Association of Realtors adopt the affirmative action agreement for voluntary use by Boards of realtors recommended by the National association of Realtors 
October 31, 1975 75-18  American Life Insurance Association invest in an experimental program by a private foundation to promote medical units around the country to provide outpatient care 
August 4, 1975   75-13  Greater Hartford Board of Realtors voluntary compliance agreement and affirmative action plan
July 31, 1975 75-12  National Audio Visual Association share information on delinquent accounts
June 25, 1974  74-10 National Electrical Contractors Association plan for an electrical manufacturers survey
May 20, 1974 74-7 American Speech and Hearing Association amend code of ethics to permit dispensing of hearing aids by audioligists
January 31, 1974 74-4 Non Theatrical Film Distributors Association plan for exchange of credit information among members
January 12, 1973 73-1

National Association of Temporary Services

code of employment practices for temporary industrial services and related compliance procedures 
August 7, 1972  72-15  Illinois Hospital Association health facilities rate review corporation
March 16, 1971 71-5 Common Carrier Conference experimental interline program consisting of an agreement and experiment interline procedure for less than truckload general freight
August 5, 1970 70-12 National Furniture Traffic Conference publish and distribute a list of those furniture carriers which continue to pay the full amount of concealed loss and damage claims
June 18, 1970 70-10  Rubber Manufacturers Association plan for reorganizationa with the National Rubber shippers association
March 16, 1971 70-8 RTE ASEA joint venture
February 26, 1970 70-4  Middle Atlantic Insulation Contractors  changes in bylaws
1970 70-1  Electronics Industries Association safety  standards for manufacturers of television sets
December 9, 1969 69-12  St Croix Hotel Association contract to grant a bonus per guest depending upon the number of guests a tour operator produces
November 29, 1068 68-20  Toilet Goods Association Voluntary Standard for Toothpaste package sizes
October 1, 1968 68-17  Washington Board of Realtors statement of principles to govern members conduct in real estate transactions
February 2, 1968 68-3 American National Cattlemen's Association Feedlot Information Service exchange of beef cattle marketing information


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