July 28, 2020
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
joined nine other Standards developing organizations to file a “friend of the
brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, for copyright
protection in the Standards development process. The case, Milice v. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, involves a claim that industry Standards lose their
copyright protection when referenced in Federal regulations.
“Copyright protection is necessary to support the resource-intensive process
of developing high-quality Standards vital to the functioning and safety of a broad range of products,” said NEMA General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf.
“The brief illustrates why the existing rule—that Standards referenced in
Federal regulations must be ‘reasonably available to the class of persons
affected’—appropriately balances the availability of industry Standards with
the developing process that makes those Standards possible,” Tolsdorf added.