The objective of GS1 US is to develop voluntary, royalty-free standards and guidelines for use by industry for the betterment of all. In order to achieve this objective, there is a need for safeguards that protect the standards and guideline development processes from opportunistic behavior. The primary concern is a workgroup participant failing to disclose known intellectual property (IP) and then surreptitiously influencing the development of a standard or guideline to incorporate that IP so that they can later attempt to collect a royalty from every user of the standard/guideline. Such behavior undermines the objective of GS1 US, as well as the integrity of the standards and guideline development processes to which workgroup participants generously dedicate their time to better their industries.
To avoid such behavior, GS1 US instituted an IP policy for workgroup efforts in 2013. The policy uses disclosure and notice requirements to promote fair play and to eliminate the use of silence as a mechanism for IP gamesmanship in workgroups.
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