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The 5th commandment for effective standards

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:blog? commandment standard effective? patent?

By Karen Bartleson
The Standards Game

Number 5 is: Realize There Is No Neutral Party.

For anyone involved in the standards game, this knowledge is crucial. Everyone participating in standards has a mission to accomplish, be it for business, law, safety, technology, or personal reasons. No one would spend a valuable minute or a precious penny on a standards activity for which they didn't care about a specific outcome.

People can be surprised when they come to understand how not-neutral standards participants are. An engineer who is new to a committee can be horrified to discover that another committee member has been purposely delaying progress by throwing up smokescreens that sound like policy discussions. An EDA vendor can be perplexed when another vendor who has participated in developing a standard for years suddenly announces an alleged essential patent. And a customer can be shocked upon discovering shenanigans that feel like vandalism when attempting to survey the industry about which of two standards is preferred.

I've always chuckled when an organization claims to be a "neutral third party". It happens usually in the midst of a standards struggle, and on the surface it seems to be an answer to a settlement. In truth, the NTP (how's that for a new acronym?) has something to gain. In the case of one famousI should say infamousstandards battle (see the last paragraph of the article), the NTP stood to increase membership and bring in additional funding.

Keeping the 5th Commandment for Effective Standards in mind before jumping into a standards activity can help you gain a broader perspective and quell some of the emotions associated with any skirmishes that might erupt.

If anyone can find a truly neutral party in the standards game, I'd be fascinated to learn about it.

- Click for the 4th commandment.

- Click for the 3rd.1 commandment.

- Click for the 3rd commandment.

- Click for the 2nd commandment.

- Click for the 1st commandment.

- Karen Bartleson is part of the Synopsys Community. In her blog, The Standards Game, Karen shares her perspective on what's going on in the standards arena.

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