Q&As

What is an open standard and who are the main bodies responsible for publishing open standards relevant to the internet of things?

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Published on LexisPSL on 04/04/2017

The following TMT Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is an open standard and who are the main bodies responsible for publishing open standards relevant to the internet of things?
  • What is an open standard?
  • Who are the main bodies responsible for publishing open standards relevant to the internet of things?

What is an open standard?

The term ‘open standard’, in the context of software development, defines a publicly available standard that is developed (or approved) and maintained via a collaborative process with a view to the facilitation of interoperability and free data exchange.

In this context a ‘standard’ is typically a specification, methodology practice or procedure which relates in some way to a technical system. Making the standard ‘open’ opens the process for creating and maintaining the standard, providing access to the resultant specification and dealing with the ownership rights.

The principle behind the open standard is that contributors bring expertise and innovation to a level playing field and collaborate to develop technology which is then available to all. The Digital Standards Organisation comments that 'the economic outcome of a free and open standard, which can be measured, is that it enables perfect competition between suppliers of products based on the standard.'

Such open standards are key to facilitating interoperability. The UK government developed their own set of Open Data Principles to promote their support for implementing and adopting open standards across central government and all public bodies in the UK. Their digital strategies were developed with a focus primarily on the opportunity to harness technology to redesign and improve public service information and transactions. Within Europe, the main objective of The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) is to

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