IPR & Patents 

The term ‘intellectual property’ is used to describe a wide range of different legal concepts. Common types of intellectual property rights (IPR) include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets.


The issue of how patents relate to standards has  been the subject of intensive debate among industry bodies, standard setting organisations, and academic circles, etc. An increasing number of standards based on patented technology are being successfully and widely developed.  However, many believe that, while both standards and patents can promote innovation and market place adoption, there is little else that they have in common. Despite these differing opinions, patents in standardized technology are one of the issues that must be addressed during the development of standards.


Standards cannot be developed without a considerable investment of resources in expertise, consultations, administration, translation, etc. Therefore it is not financially possible for standards to be made available free of charge. Moreover, CEN and CENELEC members depend on the income they generate through the sale of standards. Therefore, considerable attention is devoted to the copyright protection of standards and other deliverables. Stakeholders can use CEN-CENELEC copyrighted documents for commercial purposes in agreement with CEN and CENELEC and under certain conditions. CEN/CENELEC Guide 10 sets out the rules and modalities regarding the distribution and protection of any technical deliverables.

Links to key documents

JCAG - Joint Commercial Advisory Group Policy

The policy of CEN and CENELEC on the distribution of European standards is managed under the supervision of the Joint Commercial Advisory Group (JCAG) which is the joint CEN-CENELEC advisory committee on copyright, distribution and sales related to European standards and other publications affecting CEN, CENELEC and their Members.

In particular, the JCAG is responsible for advising the Administrative Boards on all issues concerning CEN and CENELEC commercial policies and proposing, elaborating and monitoring the commercial activities of CEN and CENELEC and their respective Members and National Committees. It reports directly to the CEN and CENELEC Administrative Boards.