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At the June 17, 2015 Ecma General Assembly in Montreux the "experimental" TC39 and TC52 Ecma Royalty-Free (RF) patent policy has become "formal" Ecma-wide patent policy option

Geneva, 22 June 2015

At its June 17, 2015 Ecma General Assembly (GA) in Montreux (CH) came to the conclusion that sufficient positive experience has been gathered with the Ecma TC39 and TC52 "experimental Royalty-Free patent policies" and decided that the "experimental" TC39 and TC52 RF patent policies shall become with immediate effect "Ecma-wide" patent policy options.


  • There is no change to the original RAND patent policy of Ecma International, which has been modelled after the ITU/ISO/IEC patent policies ( This policy shall still remain the basic (default) policy for Ecma International.
  • However, under certain, well defined circumstances, for specific standardization projects (where the market requires so, like for some web scripting languages) the GA - before such standardization project starts – may approve the utilization of an optional Royalty-Free patent policy. Such Royalty-Free mode does not guarantee that all possible relevant patents in the standard are really RF (there is always a possibility of unknown 3rd party patents in a standard) but at least there is an intention by the standard developing group to create a RF standard (and therefore the probability is much higher that this might be achieved). This can support the market acceptance of specific standards (like for base internet / web standards).
  • Only very few SDOs can offer such kind of policy option. Therefore it is expected that this will give Ecma International a competitive advantage vis-à-vis those SDOs who can only offer RAND or only RF patent policies. Ecma International hopes to encourage especially some open source standardization projects to come to Ecma for standardization.
  • If an SDO with RF patent policy (e.g. in a RF W3C standard) includes in his standard as normative reference a RF Ecma standard, then the referencing standard can still be regarded as RF. However in case a normative reference is made to a RAND SDO standard the RF status of the referencing standard is unsure.

The Ecma-wide RF patent policy is documented here.

For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email:



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