Significant Updates to Regulations Governing SEMI Standards Committees Approved
July 2, 2009 Edition of Regulations Now Available
In early July, the International Standards Committee, the governing body for the SEMI International Standards program, approved significant changes to the Regulations Governing SEMI Standards Committees. These changes address topics including the process for handling intellectual property, the review process for existing SEMI Standards and Safety Guidelines, and participation in the Program. They are designed to minimize complications in these areas, and to ensure that SEMI Standards developers and users can focus on the technical content of our Standards and Safety Guidelines.
Handling Intellectual Property Disclosures
As discussed in the previous issue of Standards Watch, intellectual property (IP) protection is very important to Standards development. The new procedures for handling IP disclosure are modeled after existing best practices for standards development organizations, and introduce the use of Letters of Assurance (LOAs) from patent holders. The use of LOAs will provide better clarity of patent holders’ intent to Standards technical committees. Also, the request for a LOA is carefully placed in the overall IP handling process to reduce or eliminate the burden of patent review on Standards developers.
Membership in the SEMI Standards Program is now required for all persons participating in Standards meetings. Program membership is free, open to all interested parties, and independent of any other SEMI membership. If you haven’t yet registered, we invite you to do so at:
Review Process for Existing SEMI Standards and Safety Guidelines
From the perspective of a member of a technical committee (TC), the review process for existing SEMI Standards and Safety Guidelines has not changed significantly, nor have the review-related duties of the TC. However, users of SEMI Standards and Safety Guidelines will be provided with additional information on documents that are no longer supported by a TC.
In this context, a document is supported when:
- within five years of publication, it has not been replaced, withdrawn, superseded, or removed;
- a TC takes action to reapprove, revise, or replace the document within five years of its publication;
- In the sixth and following years of publication, the responsible TC issues replacement or revision ballots each year
Documents that are no longer supported will receive an “Inactive” watermark. Inactive documents will still be available to interested parties, and can be returned to “Current” status through revision ballot at any time. Related to this topic, the Regulations now include a new set of definitions for the terms that indicate the status of a SEMI Standard or Safety Guideline. (“Inactive” and “Current” are two of these terms.)
For More Information
The most recent version of the Regulations Governing SEMI Standards Committees is available here. If you have any questions about these changes or any other aspect of the SEMI Standards Program, please feel free to contact your local SEMI Standards Staff.