Chapter 2: Industry Standards
1. INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION OF STANDARDS In resolving the conflict between patents and industry standards, it is essential to understand the characteristics of standards. That is, the general knowledge about standards, such as the definition, the classification and the economics of standards, has to be studied before analysing the relationship between patents and standards. Indeed, the definition and the classification of standards determine the scope of this book. Therefore, in this chapter, the characteristics of standards are to be studied as follows. Firstly, the definition and the classification of standards are studied and then the relevant standards are identified. On the basis of the definition and classification, the process of standardisation and the dynamics of standards are examined. Lastly, how standards affect technical innovation and market competition is studied. First of all, how to define standards? Various definitions of standards are suggested and are being used. ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) define standards as ‘a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognised body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context’.1 However, this definition seems to be inappropriate for the purpose of this book, since it restricts standards to the form of documents and does not include informal standards, which are developed by market process. Some commentators do not accept the definition provided by standard setting organisations (SSOs) and...
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