Spain Too Requires RF for Open Standards

Last week I wrote a piece suggesting that FRAND is dying. It was written in the wake of the major UK decision on open standards, and was mostly based on odd bits of anecdotal evidence. So I was rather pleased to learn from Techrights that Spain...

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Last week I wrote a piece suggesting that FRAND is dying. It was written in the wake of the major UK decision on open standards, and was mostly based on odd bits of anecdotal evidence. So I was rather pleased to learn from Techrights that Spain made a similar decision some years back, something I missed at the time.

It's found in "Ley 11/2007, de 22 de junio, de acceso electrónico de los ciudadanos a los Servicios Públicos", that is, regarding electronic access to public services. Throughout the document the term "open standards" is used, and this is defined in the Annex as follows:

su uso y aplicación no esté condicionado al pago de un derecho de propiedad intelectual o industrial.

That is, its use and application are not conditional on payment for any intellectual or industrial right – RF, not FRAND.

Of course, this is only one more example, and not in itself likely to have an earth-shattering impact (not least because non-open standards are also permitted under the Spanish law.) But taken cumulatively, I believe that these individual definitions specifying RF rather than FRAND do indeed add up to a major shift in computer standards. I predict we'll be seeing many more of them in the future.

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