ETSI definition of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) within the pdfETSI IPR Policy:

IPR shall mean any intellectual property right conferred by statute law including applications therefor other than trademarks. For the avoidance of doubt rights relating to get-up, confidential information, trade secrets or the like are excluded from the definition of IPR”.


Standards rely on technical contributions from various sources. These contributions may contain patented technologies which are commonly known as Standard Essential Patents (SEP). When it is not possible on technical grounds to make or operate equipment or methods which comply with a standard without infringing a SEP, i.e. without using technologies that are covered by one or more patents, we describe that patent as ‘essential’.

The pdfETSI IPR Policy which is part of the ETSI Directives seeks to reduce the risk that our standards-making efforts might be wasted if SEPs are unavailable under Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions.

The main objective of the pdfETSI IPR Policy is to balance the rights and interests of IPR holders to be fairly and adequately rewarded for the use of their SEPs in the implementation of ETSI standards and the need for implementers to get access to the technology defined in ETSI standards under FRAND terms and conditions.

The ETSI Directives also contain an pdfIPR Guide which is intended to help ETSI members and any other party involved in ETSI's standardization activities to understand and implement the ETSI IPR Policy.

This IPR Guide provides information on how to handle IPR matters in ETSI and does not replace the ETSI IPR Policy which takes precedence in all cases.


We issue this public statement to clarify that ETSI does not take any position regarding the correct interpretation of its IPR policy and its IPR Guide.

The ETSI IPR Policy and the IPR Guide texts stand as independent documents in their own right.

It is reiterated that specific licensing terms and negotiations are commercial matters between the companies and shall not be addressed within ETSI. The basic principle of the ETSI IPR regime remains FRAND with no specific preference for any licensing model.

Disclosure of Standard Essential Patents

During the proposal or development of a standard, ETSI members must inform the Director General in a timely fashion if they are aware that they hold any patent that might be essential.

Disclosure of Standard Essential Patents (SEP) holders are requested to provide an irrevocable undertaking in writing that they are prepared to grant irrevocable licenses on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and conditions.

As mentioned in ETSI Collective Letter CL21_2755, SEPs declarations shall be provided via the ETSI IPR ONLINE DATABASE.

The ETSI IPR ONLINE DATABASE allows, for information, public access to patents which have been declared as being essential or potentially essential, to ETSI and 3GPP standards.

The Bulk upload feature of the online database enables users to upload large amount of SEPs in one file and to optimize the time spent on the interface. Significant enhancements have been published recently in order to improve the user experience.

The following user guides are available to assist you in the process:

An extract of the ETSI IPR Database is published twice a year in the Special Report SR 000 314. The extraction file has been improved to enable a better granularity to sort and filter the data. Monthly updates of the extraction file are available on request (please send an email to helpdesk@etsi.org)

Prior to making a patent licensing decision and implementing any SEP contained in the ETSI IPR Database, potential licensees shall always contact the declarant.

ETSI ownership of Copyright & Trademarks


ETSI standards are publicly available for consultation on the ETSI website.

The ownership of the copyright in standards created by ETSI or any of its committees shall vest in ETSI.

ETSI is responsible for the copyright management having all rights reserved.

The reproduction of parts of ETSI standards and other ETSI material may be allowed provided a request is made using the docETSI Copyright Licence request

The copyright authorization shall never imply a license on any potential SEP.

Copyright on Software incorporated in ETSI Standards

Where software is included in any element of an ETSI standard, the software owner grants, without monetary compensation an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free and sub-licensable copyright license to prepare derivative works and reproduce, display, distribute and execute the contributed software and derivative work to ETSI, ETSI members and any implementer for limited purposes (see Section 9.2 of the pdfETSI IPR Policy).


ETSI has registered several trademarks and semi-figurative trademarks (logos). Please see the details in the “Brand and Trademarks” section on our website.

Neither explicitly nor implicitly does any such ex ante disclosure of licensing terms represent ETSI nor its members’ interpretation of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions as set forth in Clause 6.1 of the ETSI IPR Policy. Consequently, ETSI is not taking any position during the drafting phase and/or upon the publication of an ETSI standard and technical specification and is not responsible at any time for determining whether the licensing terms disclosed ex ante are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

Neither the fact of having disclosed such licensing terms nor the adoption of a technology after such a disclosure has been made shall be deemed as any kind of endorsement by ETSI or by its members of such licensing terms, or as any kind of acknowledgement of the compliance of such licensing terms with any ETSI Directives.

ETSI cannot be held liable for the contents of such licensing terms. Thus, potential licensees should use the information in this website/database at their discretion.

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