VITA Revises Patent Disclosure Policy, Receives ANSI Re-Accreditation

VITA, the trade association dedicated to fostering American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited, open-system architectures in critical embedded system applications, announced that it has been re-accredited by ANSI effective May 22, 2007.

In January, VITA had submitted revised patent disclosure policies and standards procedures to ANSI. The revisions ensure that VSO participants disclose patents that are essential to implementing a new standard and that the participants openly declare the most restrictive terms required to license any such patents. The new requirement to declare the most restrictive licensing terms makes the changed policy fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. ANSI has approved these revised standards procedures with minor modifications.

With its revisions, VITA has broken new ground in standards organization patent policy. VITA executive director, Ray Alderman, has testified at several hearings and conferences, and other international standards have queried VITA about its policy changes.

“VITA and VSO appreciate the ANSI ExSC approval of our new patent policies,” stated Ray Alderman, VITA executive director. “We will make the minor modifications they have requested and submit them shortly. We believe these policies make our processes open and transparent, fair and equitable to all who participate in our various standards working groups. Additionally, we will require these policies as we undertake activities for new critical embedded system standards.”

VITA has been exploring more effective patent disclosure procedures for several years. These explorations led VITA to query the Department of Justice about how to develop better procedures. During the first half of 2006, VITA and its board of directors developed new patent disclosure procedures for use by the VSO. The new patent policy was submitted to the Department of Justice on June 8, 2006, for their review. After numerous meetings to gain clarification, slight changes were made. The Department of Justice issued their positive business review letter on October 30, 2006. The VITA members and board of directors approved the changes in January of this year. ANSI’s approval of the procedure changes now completes the process for ANSI re-accreditation of the VITA standards efforts.

About VITA
Founded in 1984, VITA is an incorporated, non-profit organization of suppliers and users who share a common market interest in critical embedded systems. VITA champions open system architectures. Its activities are international in scope, technical, promotional and user-centric. VITA aims to increase total market size for its members, expand market exposure for suppliers, and deliver timely technical information. VITA has ANSI and IEC accreditation to develop standards (VME, VXS, VPX, XMC, etc) for embedded systems used in a myriad of critical applications and harsh environments.