Intellectual Property & Standards

To view the TIA Standards & IPR Policy Committee (SIPC) charter, click here.

TIA represents hundreds of global companies that manufacture, supply, or vend information and communications technology (ICT) products and are part of the international standardization system. Particularly, the US and EU standards systems have experienced tremendous growth and development over the last 50 years as both dynamically evolved to address more and more complicated and increasingly global ICT industry needs.

Governmental approaches to how standards are used and developed, and standards' relationship to intellectual property rights (IPR), profoundly impact the ICT industry. TIA's Standards & IPR Policy Committee (SIPC) formulates policy and position decisions regarding standards-related policy issues, including but not limited to issues relating to information and communications technology (ICT) standardization; the role of government vis-à-vis standardization; international trade aspects of standards; and the interplay of standards, intellectual property rights, and related governmental action.

In addition, a major function of TIA is the writing and maintenance of voluntary industry standards and specifications, as well as the formulation of technical positions for presentation on behalf of the United States in certain international standards fora. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop voluntary industry standards for a wide variety of telecommunications products and sponsors more than 70 standards.

TIA broadly supports the "multiple path" approach to the development of international standards, and that any standard that is developed through an open, transparent process and is widely implemented on a global basis should be considered to be an international standard.

While many of TIA developed standards are internationally accepted and used, there are a number of different standards bodies, from the most formal to the least formal, that also produce successful international standards. The success of the standards TIA and others produce is not based upon geography nor a denned process or procedure, but rather is a result of a number of factors (such as responsiveness to customer need) that impact ultimate acceptance by the broader industry.

This competition and diversity among standards bodies has resulted in a dynamic ecosystem that is very valuable to the similarly dynamic ICT industry sector. TIA is proud to be a successful developer of international standards in this ever-changing environment, and supports the widely accepted definition of an open standard reflected by the ITU's Telecommunications Sector (ITU-T) as well as the Global Standards Collaboration's (GSC) Resolution GSC‐12/05, both of which reflect the following elements:

  • The standard is developed and/or approved, and maintained by a collaborative consensus‐based process;
  • Such process is transparent;
  • Materially affected and interested parties are not excluded from such process;
  • The standard is subject to reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) intellectual property rights (IPR) policies which do not mandate, but may permit, at the option of the IPR holder, the licensing of essential intellectual property without compensation; and
  • The standard is published and made available to the general public under reasonable terms (including for reasonable fee or for free).

TIA's SIPC shapes its positions and advocacy based on the following principles:

  • Reliance on the voluntary, open, and consensus-based standards process, which includes the protection of IPR, is key to enhancing the global competitiveness of the ICT industry.
  • Voluntary, consensus-based standards are a critical element for innovation and the continued commercial success of the ICT sector, which should be supported by all governments.
  • Open standards are developed and maintained using consensus-based and transparent processes, and are available to the public at a reasonable cost (either for a reasonable fee or for free). Open standards should not be subject to mandated licensing without compensation.
  • International standards are any standards developed through an open, transparent process and are widely implemented on a global basis.