----- Original Message -----

From: Alderman Ray
To: GTW
Sunday, January 03, 2010 3:38 PM
Subject: Re: Insight Volume 11 Num 3 November 2009

Hello George...
 
Your summary looks fine...I read your referenced pages and the links. I think there are some inherent legal issues that must be resolved before disclosures made in a standards group are then made public. Take connectors, for instance. A connector company makes an ex ante declaration (concerning essential IP to practice a standard) in a US standards body and discloses fees and royalties related to that specific standard. Connector pricing, fees, and royalties are different in Europe than in the US. If that ex ante disclosure were public, that would then lead European connector makers to assume the same conditions and terms as US connector makers, and that could create some conflicts and possible problems for the discloser. Also, as I mentioned before, I only have a fiduciary duty to the members of VITA. I do not have a fiduciary duty to non-members, nor can I guarantee that they  are covered by ex ante disclosures made under VITA, especially across borders and across other non-related standards. Until this "duty to non-members" is legally established, we will keep our disclosures for members only. This whole concept of mandatory (or voluntary) ex ante disclosure is new, and the legal system has yet to deal with it on a broader (public) scale. This may be why some SDOs have adopted voluntary ex ante disclosure (with few or no voluntary disclosures being submitted). Until we have clarification on this issue, we will rely upon the principle of "fiduciary duties" to guide us concerning how broadly we disclose declarations. Present world economic conditions, financial turmoil and difficulty in the tech industry, and recent protectionist actions in markets and industries in different countries inspire companies with essential IP associated with certain standards to ignore disclosures (unless mandated by the SDO policies and procedures).

Regards....Ray

 


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