OASIS Breaks the Traditional Standards Accreditation Barrier

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Apr 5, 2013 4:44 PM EDT
ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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On Tuesday, OASIS - the standards group that developed the OpenDocument Format - made an extremely rare announcement for an information technology consortium: that it has successfully completed the process of becoming accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  

As a result, it is now able to submit its standards to ANSI for recognition as American National Standards (ANS). And also to directly submit its standards for adoption by ISO and IEC. This is a milestone that’s worthy of note, despite the fact that over 200 standards setting organizations (SSOs) have achieved a similar status in the past.

Why? Because those 200 plus prior-accredited SSOs were all created as US-centric organizations, although some (such as ASTM and IEEE) later became global standards development powerhouses. . . .

Whether or not other consortia will follow OASIS’s lead remains to be seen. But in approving OASIS, ANSI has opened the door a bit wider for more consortia to take the plunge. Specifically, it has for many years been an open question whether an SSO with an IPR policy that requires (at least in some working groups) that essential patent claims be made available on a royalty free basis could meet ANSI’s accreditation rules that bear on IPR matters.

To its credit, ANSI had taken the time and effort to seriously think through that question, as well as what types of controls or other guarantees might be advisable to ensure that the rights of IP owners are properly respected. With the accreditation of OASIS, it’s now clear that such a policy, properly constructed, can pass muster. . . .

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