Update OPC IPR policy v2.1


Scottsdale, AZ, Oct 18th, 2018 – In April of this year the OPC Foundation announced a new “version 2.0” IPR policy. This policy was well-received by nearly all of our 610 members, which has enabled us to welcome a variety of new members, including some large, industry-leading companies. OPC Foundation received from OPC Foundation members topics to improve the new policy and we’ve been working with these OPC Foundation members to address the requested changes. Today, we are announcing a version “2.1” update to the IPR policy terms. The OPC Foundation has sent a dedicated email to the designated representatives already.

The 2.1 update includes six minor changes to the 2.0 terms:

  1. Several OPC Foundation members informed us that the “Affiliates” definition in the 2.0 policy conflicted with their legal obligations in a particular circumstance: these companies own more than 50% of the shares of an independently-operated publicly traded company, but, as a legal and regulatory matter, cannot control the actions of the Board of that company. We added a concept of “Excluded Affiliate” to address this narrow circumstance. We included terms aimed at ensuring that this new exception cannot be used in bad faith to avoid license obligations under the policy.
  2. Several OPC Foundation members found a sentence in the 2.0 version which discussed burden of proof in certain disputes to be ambiguous. Given that this sentence was something new which we created, as opposed to a best practice that we’d followed, we decided to strike the sentence entirely.
  3. In accordance with requests, we extended the review period prior to the finalization of specifications from 60 days to 90 days.
  4. Similarly, per request, we extended the review period prior to any updates to the IPR policy itself to become effective after 90 days (was 60 days).
  5. An OPC Foundation member asked that we explicitly clarify that trademark licenses be made equally available to all qualifying members, and we added language to this effect.

6. An OPC Foundation member suggested that we further clarify that the new IPR policy terms are the definitive IPR-related legal terms that apply to all members; we added this clarification.

The new IPR 2.1 policy is available for your review at OPC Foundation IPR2.1 Policy. A markup version of the IPR 2.0 to IPR 2.1 is available at OPC Foundation IPR 2.0 to 2.1 Redline.

In accordance with the terms of Section 6(c) of the 2.0 version of the policy, updates to the policy will be effective for all OPC Foundation members 60 days after the updates are announced to the membership (once the 2.1 policy is effective this will shift to 90 days for any future updates). Accordingly, the effective date for the 2.1 version for all OPC Foundation members will be no later than December 18, 2018. However, OPC Foundation will begin using the new 2.1 terms for itself and for all new OPC Foundation members immediately. Further, an OPC Foundation member can choose to apply the 2.1 terms to itself earlier by so notifying the Foundation.

Please contact the OPC Foundation and let us know if we can answer any questions.

Thank you,

Michael Bryant
OPC Foundation Secretary