The KNX IPR clearance process ensures that any patent rights (Intellectual Property Rights) that are contained in the KNX Specifications can be freely used by all members in the KNX Association, provided that :
- The relevant members sign the uniform IPR license agreement.
- All patents that are necessary for the development of a product compatible to a given issue of the KNX Specifications have been put on the 'KNX free' by the respective KNX members. An actual transfer of the patents to KNX Association however does not occur: KNX Association merely acts as go-between.
- These patents are put to use by the members in KNX certified products.
The KNX IPR clearance process is truly unique in the world of bus associations, making KNX the sole technology for Home and Building Controls that is license-free.
The KNX IPR Clearance process has three phases:
Phase I - Disclosure Period - Duration 12 weeks
During this phase, KNX Association takes stock of the available patents contained in a given version of the KNX Specifications. During these 12 weeks, the members have the possibility to submit to KNX Association.
- A non-license list: the member declares not to be willing to license a (number of) patent(s).
- A license list: the member declares to be willing to license a (number of) necessary patent(s).
Phase II - Objection period - Duration 6 weeks
During this phase, all members evaluate the necessity of the patents in the various non-license lists submitted during the disclosure period. A patent is considered necessary, when its use can not be avoided when building a product that is meant to be compatible to a given version of the KNX specifications.
Phase III - Negotiation period - Duration unlimited
During this phase, negotiations between the members are run to ensure that all necessary patents are transferred to the individual license lists.
- If no agreement can be reached, the KNX specifications have to be reworked to circumvent the non-licensed patents. The whole process starts again for the reworked version.
- If an agreement is reached, the underlying KNX specifications are 'cleared'.
The IPR clearance process for version 1.0 and 1.1 was successfully concluded.