DIRITTO PRIVATO COMPARATO
RFC 1602. The Internet Standard Process. Section 5: Intellectual Property Rights.
5. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
5.1. General Policy
In all matters of intellectual property rights and procedures, the
intention is to benefit the Internet community and the public at
large, while respecting the legitimate rights of others.
As used in this section, the following terms have the indicated
o "Trade secrets" are confidential, proprietary information.
o "Contribution" means any disclosure of information or ideas,
whether in oral, written, or other form of expression, by an
individual or entity ("Contributor").
o "Standards track documents" are specifications and other
documents that have been elevated to the Internet standards
track in accordance with the Internet Standards Process.
o "Copyrights" are purportedly valid claims to copyright in all
or part of a contribution to standards work, whether or not
the contribution becomes a standards track document,
including but not limited to any works by third parties that
the contribution is based on or incorporates.
o "ISOC" refers to the Internet Society and its trustees,
officers, employees, contractors, and agents, as well as the
IAB, IETF, IESG, IRTF, IRSG, and other task forces,
committees, and groups coordinated by the Internet Society.
o "Standards work" is work involved in the creation, testing,
development, revision, adoption, or maintenance of an
Internet standard that is carried out under the auspices of
o "Internet community" refers to the entire set of persons,
whether individuals or entities, including but not limited to
technology developers, service vendors, and researchers, who
use the Internet, either directly or indirectly, and users of
any other networks which implement and use Internet
5.3 Trade Secret Rights
Except as otherwise provided under this section, ISOC will not
accept, in connection with standards work, any idea, technology,
information, document, specification, work, or other contribution,
whether written or oral, that is a trade secret or otherwise
subject to any commitment, understanding, or agreement to keep it
confidential or otherwise restrict its use or dissemination; and,
specifically, ISOC does not assume any confidentiality obligation
with respect to any such contribution.
5.4. Rights and Permissions
In the course of standards work, ISOC receives contributions in
various forms and from many persons. To facilitate the wide
dissemination of these contributions, it is necessary to establish
specific understandings concerning any copyrights, patents, patent
applications, or other rights in the contribution. The procedures
set forth in this section apply to contributions submitted after 1
April 1994. For Internet standards documents published before
this date (the RFC series has been published continuously since
April 1969), information on rights and permissions must be sought
directly from persons claiming rights therein.
5.4.1. All Contributions
By submission of a contribution to ISOC, and in consideration
of possible dissemination of the contribution to the Internet
community, a contributor is deemed to agree to the following
terms and conditions:
l. Contributor agrees to grant, and does grant to ISOC, a
perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right
and license under any copyrights in the contribution to
reproduce, distribute, perform or display publicly and
prepare derivative works that are based on or incorporate
all or part of the contribution, and to reproduce,
distribute and perform or display publicly any such
derivative works, in any form and in all languages, and to
authorize others to do so.
2. Contributor acknowledges that ISOC has no duty to publish
or otherwise use or disseminate every contribution.
3. Contributor grants ISOC permission to reference the
name(s) and address(s) of the contributor as well as other
persons who are named as contributors.
4. Where the contribution was prepared jointly with others,
or is a work for hire, the contributor represents and
warrants that the other owner(s) of rights have been
informed of the rights and permissions granted to ISOC and
that any required authorizations have been obtained.
Copies of any such required authorizations will be
furnished to ISOC, upon request.
5. Contributor acknowledges and agrees that ISOC assumes no
obligation to maintain any confidentiality with respect to
any aspect of the contribution, and warrants that the the
contribution does not violate the rights of others.
6. All material objects in which contributions are submitted
to ISOC become the property of ISOC and need not be
returned to the contributor.
Where appropriate, written confirmation of the above terms and
conditions will be obtained in writing by ISOC, usually by
electronic mail; however, a decision not to obtain such
confirmation in a given case shall not act to revoke the prior
grant of rights and permissions with respect to the
contribution as provided herein. Except as provided below, the
Executive Director of the IETF Secretariat, or a person
designated by the Executive Director, will be responsible for
obtaining written confirmations.
In the case of IETF Working Groups, the responsibility for
identifying the principal contributor(s) for purposes of
obtaining written confirmation of the above rights and
permissions will be assumed by the Editor or Chair of the
particular Group. While only those persons named as principal
contributor(s) will generally be requested to provide written
confirmation, it is the responsibility of all contributors to
standards work to inform the IETF Secretariat of any
proprietary claims in any contributions and to furnish the
Secretariat with any required confirmation.
Where any person participating in standards work asserts any
proprietary right in a contribution, it is the responsibility
of such person to so inform the Editor or Chair of the group,
promptly, in writing. The Editor or Chair will then determine
whether to list the person as a principal contributor, or to
revise the document to omit the particular contribution in
5.4.2. Standards Track Documents
(A) ISOC will not propose, adopt, or continue to maintain any
standards, including but not limited to standards labelled
Proposed, Draft or Internet Standards, which can only be
practiced using technology or works that are subject to
known copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other
rights, except with the prior written assurance of the
owner of rights that:
l. ISOC may, without cost, freely implement and use the
technology or works in its standards work;
2. upon adoption and during maintenance of an Internet
Standard, any party will be able to obtain the right
to implement and use the technology or works under
specified, reasonable, non-discriminatory terms; and
3. the party giving the assurance has the right and
power to grant the licenses and knows of no other
copyrights, patents, patent applications, or other
rights that may prevent ISOC and members of the
Internet community from implementing and operating
under the standard.
(B) ISOC disclaims any responsibility for identifying the
existence of or for evaluating any copyrights, patents,
patent applications, or other rights, on behalf of or for
the benefit of any member of the Internet community, and
ISOC takes no position on the validity or scope of any
such rights. Further, ISOC will take no position on the
ownership of inventions made during standards work, except
for inventions of which an employee or agent of the
Internet Society is a joint inventor. In the latter case,
the Internet Society will make its rights available under
license to anyone in the Internet community in accordance
with the written assurances set forth below.
(A) When a written assurance has been obtained as set forth
below, the relevant standards track documents shall include
the following notice:
"__________(name of rights' owner) has provided written
assurance to the Internet Society that any party will be
able to obtain, under reasonable, nondiscriminatory
terms, the right to use the technology covered
by__________(list copyrights, patents, patent
applications, and other rights) to practice the
standard. A copy of this assurance may be obtained from
the Executive Director of the IETF Secretariat. The
Internet Society takes no position on the validity or
scope of the copyrights, patents, patent applications,
or other rights, or on the appropriateness of the terms
and conditions of the assurances. The Internet Society
does not make any representation there are no other
rights which may apply to the practice of this standard,
nor that it has made any effort to identify any such
rights. For further information on the Internet
Society's procedures with respect to rights in standards
and standards-related documentation, see RFC_____,
(B) ISOC encourages all interested parties to bring to its
attention, at the earliest possible time, the existence of
any copyrights, patents, patent applications, or other rights
pertaining to Internet Standards. For this purpose, each
standards document will include the following invitation:
"The Internet Society invites any interested party to
bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent
applications, or other proprietary rights which purport
to cover technology or works that may be required to
practice this standard. Please address the information
to the Executive Director of the Internet Engineering
Task Force Secretariat."
(C) When applicable, the following sentence will be included in
"As of __________, no information about any copyrights,
patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
rights has been received."
(D) The following copyright notice and disclaimer will be
included in all ISOC standards-related documentation:
"Copyright (c) ISOC (year date). Permission is granted
to reproduce, distribute, transmit and otherwise
communicate to the public any material subject to
copyright by ISOC, provided that credit is given to the
source. For information concerning required
permissions, please contact the Executive Director of
the Internet Engineering Task Force Secretariat."
ISOC hereby informs the Internet community and other
persons that any standards, whether or not elevated to
the Internet Standard level of maturity, or any
standards-related documentation made available under the
auspices of ISOC are provided on an "AS IS" basis and
ISOC DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF
MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR
THAT ANY STANDARD OR DOCUMENTATION DOES NOT VIOLATE THE
RIGHTS OF OTHERS.
The agreement on assurances set forth below will normally be
entered into between the owner of rights and ISOC at the time a
standards track document in which proprietary rights are claimed
reaches the "Proposed Standard" stage of maturity:
This is an agreement between ______________(hereinafter
called "Rights Holder") and the Internet Society on behalf of
itself and its trustees, officers, employees, contractors and
agents, the Internet Architecture Board, Internet Engineering
Steering Group, Internet Engineering Task Force, and other task
forces, committees and groups coordinated by the Internet Society
(hereinafter called "ISOC"), and for the benefit of all users of
the Internet and users of any other networks which implement and
use Internet Standards (hereinafter together with ISOC called
"Internet community"). This agreement takes effect when signed on
behalf of the Rights Holder and the Internet Society.
The Rights Holder represents that it has or will have rights
in patent applications, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and
other proprietary rights in various countries (hereinafter called
"Rights") which may block or impede the ability of the Internet
community to implement and operate under the standards set forth
in ISOC standards document ____,____, and ____(the listed
standards and any similar or related standards now existing or
later developed are together hereinafter called "Standards"). The
Rights as they presently exist are listed on attached Schedule A.
The Rights Holder further agrees to review the Rights listed in
Schedule A from time to time, and, in particular, immediately
prior to the elevation of the Standards to the Internet Standard
level of maturity in accordance with the Internet Standards
Process, and to inform the Executive Director of the Internet
Engineering Task Force Secretariat promptly upon learning of any
new Rights in the Standards that should be added to the list in
The Rights Holder believes and affirms that it will derive
benefits by permitting ISOC and the Internet community to
implement and operate under the Standards without interference of
any of the Rights. The policy of ISOC is not to propose, adopt,
or continue to maintain the Standards unless written assurances
are given by the Rights Holder with respect to proprietary rights.
Accordingly, in consideration of the benefits noted above and
other good and valuable consideration, the Rights Holder makes the
assurances set forth herein.
The Rights Holder grants to ISOC a cost-free, perpetual,
non-exclusive, world-wide license under the Rights with respect to
implementing and operating under the Standards. The license
extends to all activities of ISOC involving the Standards without
limit, including the rights to reproduce, distribute, propose,
test, develop, analyze, enhance, revise, adopt, maintain,
withdraw, perform and display publicly, and prepare derivative
works in any form whatsoever and in all languages, and to
authorize others to do so. The Rights Holder also grants ISOC
permission to use the name and address of Rights Holder in
connection with the Standards.
The Rights Holder relinquishes any right or claim in any
trade secret which is part of the Rights, and makes the trade
secrets available without restriction to the Internet community.
The Rights Holder hereby acknowledges that ISOC assumes no
obligation to maintain any confidentiality with respect to any
aspect of the Standards, and warrants that the Standards do not
violate the rights of others.
The Rights Holder assures ISOC that the Rights Holder shall
grant to any member of the Internet community, as a beneficiary of
this agreement, a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide license
under the Rights, with respect to operating under the Standards
for a reasonable royalty and under other terms which are
reasonable considering the objective of ISOC to assure that all
members of the Internet community will be able to operate under
the Standards at a minimal cost. The license discussed in this
paragraph shall permit the licensee to make, have made, test,
enhance, implement, and use methods, works, computer programs, and
hardware as needed or desirable for operating under the Standards.
Every license shall include a clause automatically modifying the
terms of the license to be as favorable as the terms of any other
license under the Rights previously or later granted by the Rights
A form of the license shall always be publicly accessible on
the Internet, and shall become effective immediately when the
member of the Internet community executes it and posts it for
delivery to the Rights Holder either by mail or electronically.
The initial version of the license shall be in the form attached
as Schedule B.
The Rights Holder represents and warrants that its rights are
sufficient to permit it to grant the licenses and give the other
assurances recited in this agreement. The Rights Holder further
represents and warrants that it does not know of any rights of any
other party in any country which would block or impede the ability
of ISOC and the Internet community to implement or operate under
the Standards, or that would prevent the Rights Holder from
granting the licenses and other assurances in this agreement.
This agreement shall not be construed to obligate the ISOC to
propose, adopt, develop, or maintain any of the Standards or any