ETSI IPR Database FAQs

Question 1:

We believe that our company holds essential patents with regards to an ETSI Standard. How should we proceed to make our IPR declaration to ETSI?

Answer 1:

Either complete the docETSI IPR Licensing declaration forms or use the ETSI IPR Online-Declaration Service.

A set of pdfGuidelines on how to declare an essential IPR and how to make a licensing declaration to ETSI are available to assist you in making your IPR declaration to ETSI.

Question 2:

Because the granting procedure of an IPR is still ongoing, we are not able to provide all the requested information in the IPR declaration form at this point in time. What is the way forward in such a situation?

Answer 2:

One objective of the pdfETSI IPR Policy is to reduce the risk that investment in the preparation, adoption and application of ETSI Standards could be wasted as a result of an essential IPR for a STANDARD or a TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION being unavailable. In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives and to comply with the pdfETSI IPR Policy, you should:

  • use the docform for General IPR licensing declarations and make a general IPR undertaking/licensing declarations that you are prepared to make licenses available under fair, reasonable and non discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions under any of your IPR that is or becomes essential to:
    • a Standard, or
    • any Standard of a project, or
    • all ETSI Standards
Question 3:

I only have a GSM and/or UMTS number (i.e.: GSM 03.09). Can you tell me how to obtain the corresponding ETSI Deliverable?

Answer 3:

You may use the GSM UMTS 3GPP Numbering Cross Reference.

Question 4:

In the ETSI IPR Database, the word 'Deliverable' is used. What is the meaning of it? 

Answer 4:

'Deliverable' is the generic term used in the ETSI Directives to designate all ETSI Publications. Within the context of the ETSI IPR Policy, the term 'Deliverable' is to be understood as an ETSI Standard and an ETSI Technical Specification. A definition of the term 'Standard' and 'Technical Specification' can be found in Article 15.11 and 15.12 of the pdfETSI IPR Policy.

Question 5:

Is the Project code decided by ETSI or by the company making the IPR declaration? 

Answer 5:

The Project code is decided by the company making the declaration in roughly 90% of the cases. For those without projects, the ETSI Secretariat asks the Technical Officer for the best project allocation. Once the information is updated in the ETSI IPR Online database, the project allocation remains unless the declaring company informs us otherwise.

The list of Project codes in the IPR database is not exhaustive. It is possible to establish a mapping by using the title of a specification and/or the number of a specification. See and/or

Project code 3GPP covers specifications which are relating to the work of the 3G Partnership Project. See also

Note: IPR declarations are made to ETSI on a bona fide basis by ETSI Members, and the IPR online database reflects the information ETSI has received. Historically it was decided to organise such information in projects for the declaring companies. These project codes are purely informative and do not reflect any official work programme of the Institute. Indeed, the standardization work in ETSI and 3GPP is structured around the notion of Technical Committees.

Question 6:

Is the ETSI IPR Database exhaustive?

Answer 6:

The ETSI IPR database cannot be exhaustive due to the fact that it is based on members' bona fide declarations. All references pertaining to essential IPRs declared to ETSI are publicly available on the ETSI IPR database of the web site.

Unless otherwise indicated, the owners of the IPRs listed in the ETSI IPR Database have undertaken to grant licenses for these IPRs on fair, reasonable and non discriminatory terms as provided by Article 6.1 of the pdfETSI IPR Policy.

In addition, it should be noted that the number of references declared by a company is not a sufficient indicator of the diversity of patents owned by the companies mentioned. A patent may have been registered in various countries resulting in one entry in the database for each country while the entries all refer to the same technology.

Question 7:

Does ETSI make an evaluation of the patent declarations received? 

Answer 7:

ETSI is not carrying out any investigation, IPR searches or evaluation. The information reflected in the ETSI IPR database is based on the information received and ETSI has not checked the validity of the information, nor the relevance of the identified IPRs and is not in a position to confirm, or deny, that the IPRs are, in fact, essential, or potentially essential. In other words, the information that appears on the ETSI IPR database reflects the ETSI Members' declarations with regards to IPRs that they have considered essential for a particular ETSI STANDARD. 

Question 8:

Are there any IPRs on GSM or UMTS Codecs? Do we have to pay royalties for using them?

Answer 8:

All references pertaining to essential IPRs declared to ETSI are publicly available on the ETSI IPR database and in the ETSI Special Report SR 000 314. The ETSI IPR database should be consulted for the most updated information.

Royalties have to be paid to patent owners that have declared their Codec Technology as essential to the implementation of an ETSI STANDARD on GSM. It is the responsibility of each user of an ETSI standard to contact directly the IPR owner.
In order to obtain the contact details of an IPR owner, you can contact the ETSI Legal Service.

Question 9:

ETSI IPR database growth - Yearly Statistics 

Answer 9:

pdfETSI IPR database growth over the years.