[cabfpub] Ballot process proposal

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Fri Nov 18 12:39:20 UTC 2016

Hi Peter,

This seems like an excellent way forward. Two questions:

1) can you help me understand the definitions of FG and FMG you are
using here? My understanding was that an FG was an entirely new
document, and an FMG was, in effect, a diff (or perhaps, technically, an
existing document with the diff applied) - but your definitions seem to
be different.

2) It may be that, under certain circumstances, the CAB Forum does want
to allow something to become part of the standard to which exclusion
notices are applied. For example, there are 10 ways of doing something,
and 1 of them is IPR-encumbered, and the PAG decides that's OK. In this
case, I would expect a vote on the 10 ways, an IPR review, an Exclusion
Notice raised, a PAG, the PAG says it's OK, and then a new ballot, the
same Exclusion Notices... but then you are in an infinite loop, as the
Chair can never approve, as he's not allowed to approve a ballot on
which exclusion notices have been filed.

I think we should have provision that the PAG is allowed to recommend
that we revote an identical ballot in full knowledge of the exclusions
and, if it passes, it becomes effective immediately (as IPR review was
already done after the first vote). This would be option a) of those the
PAG is allowed to conclude, in section 7.3.2 of the IPR Policy.

> I believe that adopting this process will only require modifying the
> bylaws, which we can do via vote, rather than require modifying the
> IPR policy and getting new IPR agreements from all members.

This is a key question; it would be great if it were possible. Let's
look at some key sentences of the IPR policy:

"CAB Forum will ordinarily not approve a Guideline if it is aware that
Essential Claims exist which are not available on RF terms."

This bylaw change defines "approval" something the chair does, and
thereby certainly meets the above, as the chair will ordinarily (but see
above) not approve any ballot on which exclusion notices have been filed.

"Prior to the approval of a CAB Forum Draft Guideline as a CAB Forum
Final Guideline or Final Maintenance Guideline there shall be a review

Yep, this is met. Review happens before Chair approval.

"In the event a patent has been disclosed that may contain an Essential
Claim, but such Essential Claim is not available under CAB Forum RF
Licensing, a Patent Advisory Group (PAG) will be launched to resolve the

Yep, we can do that - nothing in what you say prevents it.

This bylaw change does not clear up all the ambiguities in the IPR
Policy (that would require changes to that policy), but perhaps it would
be a good enough basis to move forward on and get the CAB Forum back on
its feet.


More information about the Public mailing list