GS1 Intellectual Property (IP) Policy

Intellectual Property (IP) plays an important role in a broad range of areas, including science, technology, literature, the arts, Internet applications, healthcare sector solutions and more. 

GS1 Working Groups specify business requirements, processes, and specifications. Many patents either already exist or are being filed today in these areas.

As the world's premier global organisation for neutral, open standards in the supply chain, GS1 strives to protect its community of users and their efforts and investments to the best of its ability.  Our IP Policy is a key part of that effort. 

GS1 seeks to develop standards that can be practiced on a royalty-free basis to the greatest extent possible.  The objective of the GS1 IP Policy is to obtain royalty-free or RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing commitments from companies participating in GS1 Working Groups that have Essential IP (Necessary Claims) relative to the required features or functions of the standard under development. The GS1 IP Policy helps to ensure that those who develop the standard are not improperly influencing the standards development process.

Companies or organisations who wish to participate in GS1 Standards Development (GSMP) Working Groups must sign the GS1 IP Policy and the Opt-in Agreement for each Working Group they wish to join.

Benefits to GS1 members who sign the IP Policy

  • Receive a royalty-free license from Working group participants to Necessary Claims that cover requirements of GS1 standards
  • Protection from laws suits and unreasonable licensing claims from other organisations participating in the development of the GS1 standards
  • Receive early access to the GS1 standards
  • Can participate in standards development process (to help shape and contribute to the development of the standards).

License provided under the IP Policy

The license (royalty-free or RAND) provided under the IP Policy is limited to Necessary Claims of Working Group participants.  It is granted to Working Group participants on a reciprocal basis and GS1 members.  Third parties outside the standards development process may have Necessary Claims that read on a published standard.  Such third parties are not subject to the IP Policy and may request licenses from implementers of the standard.

All GS1 standards are developed in accordance with this Policy. In order to participate in standards development, your company will be required to sign the GS1 IP Policy. 

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