Four Public Lectures by Ken Krechmer at the University of Colorado

by Ken Krechmer
Communications Standards Review

757 Greer Road
Palo Alto, CA USA 94303-3024
+1 650 856-8836

The University of Colorado International Center for Standards Research (ICSR) and Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program (ITP) sponsored four invited public lectures November 16-18, 1999 in Boulder, CO by Ken Krechmer, visiting ICSR Fellow.

The Fundamental Nature of Standards

Technical standards are a fundamental part of communications systems, an expanding part of economic constructs and a developing part of legal theory. The evolution of technical standards is survival of the useful. Classifications of standards, much like classifications of life forms, are developed. New classifications of standards are postulated that offer a view of the future economic and technical directions of the Internet and wireless telephones.

Six Dimensions of Standards

Technical standards, like communications, is an ever expanding field that will likely never be bounded by a set of classifications. But it is a curious aspect of human nature to attempt to organize all that we see. Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, Six Wise Men, offers a helpful way to classify and explain the broad subject of standards: "Who? What? Where? When? How? and Why? These six questions offer strategic as well as tactical views of the standardization process.

Communications Standards and Patent Rights: Conflict or Coordination

Patented technology necessary for the use of a communications system, can create a monopoly. All that wish to use the patented communications system are legally required to pay the patent holder. The patent holder may then have the ability to offer the lowest price. Assuming an efficient market, which the Internet can sometimes be, the patent holder gains a monopoly position. Is this what patents were meant to achieve? This lecture explores some other possible approaches to the inclusion of patents in communications standards.

The Principles of Open Standards

What is an "open standard" and why should we care? When Microsoft claims it offers "open standards", that may be a good reason to learn what "open standards" means to Microsoft and what it means to the rest of us. This lecture discusses ten principles of "open standards". These ten points offer a way of rating just how "open" a standard is and what the value of openness is for the user, equipment or system developer, or standards development organization.

Ken Krechmer
Communications Standards Review
757 Greer Road
Palo Alto, California 94303-3024 USA

VOICE: +1 650 856-8836

ICSR is an interdisciplinary program at the University of Colorado to advance the theory and practice of standardization on a worldwide basis through unbiased, innovative research and education involving the engineering, business, policy, legal, economic, and social aspects of standards-related activities and products. For further information on this program, see the ICSR home page, Phone: +1 303 492 3653 Fax: +1 303 492 1112, or e-mail

This page was last updated January 4, 2000.

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