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An InterActive Forum

While most conferences simply dump data on participants, perhaps generating a few ideas that quickly fade once they return to their daily lives, this conference is designed to stimulate action. This conference brings diverse experts in information and communications technology (ICT), standardization, trade, policy, and law to the discussion table in an environment that encourages frank interaction and cooperation. By doing this, it is intended to expand the thinking process of decision makers around standardization issues and present viable, practical solutions. Attendance is limited to provide participants with ample opportunities to exchange ideas with each other and conference speakers.

Conference topics

There will be six conference sessions. These sessions will begin with a presentation by a speaker followed by an interactive panel discussion. Audience participation in these discussions is strongly encouraged.

Conference Schedule




Monday, December 5, 2005

4:00 pm



6:00 pm


Welcome Reception

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

8:00 am


Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am


Conference Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies: Maryfran Johnson, Vice President and Editor in Chief, TechTarget CIO Decisions Media Group*

9:15 am


Keynote Address James A. Thomas, President, ASTM*

10:00 am



10:15 am


What’s in a Name?: Defining Open ICT Standardization
Speaker: Mike Spring, Professor, University of Pittsburgh*
Eric Christian, Director of IT Standards, General Motors*
Larry Rosen
, Attorney, Rosenlaw & Einschlag*
Stephane Tronchon, ETSI Legal Counsel*
Kent Baker, Director IPR Policy & Standards, QUALCOMM*
Larry Bassuk, Senior Patent Counsel, Texas Instruments*

11:45 pm



1:15 pm


Does One Size Fit All?: The Need for Situational Standardization
Speaker: Paul Vishny, Attorney, Seyfarth Shaw LLP*
Andrew Updegrove, Attorney, Gesmer Updegrove LLP*
E. Earle Thompson, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel –Senior Director, SanDisk Corporation*
Robert Noth, Manager of Engineering Standards, Deere & Company*
Patrick Ryan, Professor, University of Colorado, School of Law*
Michael Nelson, Director, Internet Technology & Strategy, IBM *

2:45 pm



3:15 pm


A World United or Divided?: Standardization’s Impact on Global Trade
Speaker: Dr. Richard Suttmeier, Professor, University of Oregon*
Neil Gandal, Professor, Tel Aviv University*
Ann K. Armstrong, Director of Corporate Technology Group—Legal & Government Affairs, Intel*,
Sai Yang, Director, Center of KeHuan, KeHuan Science & Technology Development Corp Limited*
Jane K Winn, Professor, University of Washington Law School*
Ben Wu, Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy, U.S. DOC*

4:45 pm


Sessions End for the Day

7:00 pm



8:00 pm



Wednesday,  December 7, 2005

8:00 am


Continental Breakfast

9:00 am


Review of Day One by the Master of Ceremonies: Maryfran Johnson

9:15 am


Keynote Address: André V. Mendes, Chief Technology Integration Officer, PBS*

10:00 am



10:15 am


Balancing Act: Managing Intellectual Property Rights in Standardization
Speaker: Robert Barr, Executive Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology*
Kathleen Wallman, Research Professor, Georgetown University*
Ray Alderman, Executive Director, VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA)*
Richard Taffet, Attorney, Bingham McCutchen LLP*
Joe Miller, Professor, Lewis & Clark Law School*
Wenwen Li, Engineer, Sub-Institute of Standardization Theory & Strategy, China National Institute of Standardization*

11:45 pm


Lunch--Mr. Yuen Pau Woo, Representative for the  Standards Council of Canada (SCC)

1:15 pm


Moving Forward: Next Steps for Standardization
Simultaneous Roundtables

2:30 pm



3:00 pm


Standardization: Opening and Closing Doors to Cooperation

4:00 pm


Concluding Remarks

4:30 pm


Conference Adjourns

Please note that agenda is subject to change. *Denotes confirmed speaker.

What’s in a Name?: Defining Open ICT Standardization
“Open Standardization” is the newest buzzword, the “must-have” term for most technology marketing pieces. It intimates a sense of security, of fairness, of consumer choice. Yet, there is no agreed upon definition of this term nor any type of certification process to prove compliance to some of the more popular definitions. A label of “open standard” today, while comforting at first glance, has little meaning or guarantee for the ICT consumer. Not surprisingly, different definitions of “open ICT standardization” have served to unify groups and at the same time divide the standardization community as a whole. This session will feature an open exchange about the definition of “Open ICT Standardization.” It will examine how different definitions can position standardization as a unifier or as a divider. The discussion is intended to help unify standardization stakeholders and give true meaning to the term. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What are the various definitions of open ICT standardization?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the different definitions?
  • How does each definition impact open standardization’s role as a unifier and a divider?
  • Is a single, agreed upon definition necessary?
  • How can compliance to a given definition be proven?

Does One Size Fit All?: The Need for Situational Standardization
Debates over how to best standardize have been raging for years—unifying like-minded individuals and dividing the standardization industry across distinct lines. Initially confined to formal versus informal, the many alternative and hybrid processes that have risen to meet market needs make answering this question significantly more complicated. Today, the question has shifted from “what is the best overall standardization process?” to “what is the best standardization process for a particular situation?” And, it should progress to “which standardization process will be most effective in spurring successful implementations for a particular situation?” This session will examine different types of standardization processes in light of their ability to produce successful implementations and meet market needs. It will then analyze how the use of each can create unification or division as needed. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the different standardization processes in specific situations?
  • Are there checks and balances in these different types and, if so, how do they work?
  • Are there specific aspects inherent in each that position them to act more strongly as unifiers or as dividers?
  • How are standards affected and how is their impact changed as they move through different standardization activities (e.g., from consortium to formal standards bodies)?
  • How can different standardization processes work together?
  • How do the different types stimulate implementations?

A World United or Divided?: Standardization’s Impact on Global Trade
Companies competing in the international market must comply with a myriad of local regulations, policies, and consumer preferences. The resources required to satisfy these demands can significantly drive up costs and time to market. Globally accepted standards can help ease this burden, facilitating international trade while still providing acceptable levels of consumer protection. Similarly, national or regional standards can be used to boost national competitiveness and protect domestic industries. This session will focus on the impact that standardization has and should have on global trade through the uniting and/or dividing of markets, industries, and people. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What is the role of standardization in both trade and public policy?
  • How do nations and geopolitical regions use standardization as a unifier and divider?
  • How do recent policy decisions affect standardization and global trade?
  • Can (and should) standardization serve to unify or divide markets, users, and technologies?
  • How can companies use standardization to boost their competitiveness in the international market?

Balancing Act: Managing Intellectual Property Rights in Standardization
How can Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) be effectively managed in standardization? Is there a “one size fits all” solution or, like the standardization process itself, should IPR management vary according to the activity? These questions alone are enough to divide a conference room or an entire industry. Whether one favors royalties, royalty-free, or a solution in between, the management solution chosen can serve to unify markets, exclude competitors, or drive cooperative solutions. This panel will explore different approaches to managing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) concerns within standardization and discuss how each approach may create unification or division. The following questions will be addressed:

  • How can standardization serve as a tool to balance the needs of IPR holders with other social, cultural, and economic interests?
  • Do different IPR policies in standards setting organizations serve as unifiers and dividers? If so, how?
  • Is standardization a limited public good and should it be subject to government oversight?
  • Is there an ideal way to manage Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in standardization?
  • Should IPR questions even be addressed in the standards setting arena or should they be left for governments to manage? 

Moving Forward: Next Steps for Standardization
Taking into account the discussions from the previous four sessions, what are the concerns and considerations for addressing each of these topics? In this part of the conference the audience members will join one of four roundtables:

  • Open ICT Standardization
  • Standardization Processes
  • Global Trade
  • Intellectual Property Rights

 At these, audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions and discuss ideas with the session panelists and other participants. At the end of the roundtable, participants will choose a panel member to present their ideas and findings in the last session.

Standardization: Opening and Closing Doors to Cooperation
Standardization can serve as a powerful collaborative mechanism or as an equally effective way of excluding unwanted competition or dividing people. Which role it serves at any given time depends on the processes, people, government policies, and IPR management strategies involved. This panel will bring together panelists selected by the roundtable from each of the previous sessions. Each panelist will begin by presenting their roundtable’s ideas and findings. They will then draw on the ideas generated from the conference and the roundtables to explore how standardization can facilitate and/or discourage cooperation. The following questions will be addressed:

  • Based on the previous conference discussions, when should standardization be used to encourage cooperation and when should it be used to inhibit it?
  • What are the benefits of using standardization in both of these roles for individual companies, governments, and society as a whole?
  • Should standardization be modified to play more strongly the role of unifier or divider? Why or why not?
  • What steps are necessary in industry, government, and academia to increase the level of understanding about standardization as an industrial policy tool?
  • What types of actions can be taken to strengthen the efficacy of standardization?