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INT 1 Intellectual Property

Generally, intellectual property can be divided into five categories, each with its own set of laws and protections. ISA’s intellectual property, which also fits into these categories, represents a valuable asset, which the Society, its leadership and membership must strive to protect - for the benefit of the membership. ISA will take the measures described below to protect its intellectual property.

INT 1.1 Copyright

A copyright is a set of five separable, independent rights under US law governing protection of the expression of ideas on recorded media. Copyright prevents others from reproducing or distributing books, standards, software, videotapes, and other documents or graphics without permission. Copyright exists the moment the expression is recorded. No special effort is required to create a copyright. Notice and registration enhance enforcement, but are not required for copyright to exist. Copyrights are generally recognized worldwide through various treaties, although enforcement is usually based on the laws of the country where the violation occurs.

INT 1.1.1 ISA Implementation of Copyright

INT Acquisition of Rights
Whenever feasible, ISA will receive assignments of all rights of copyright to all works published by ISA. If a work qualifies under the “work made for hire” doctrine under the United States Copyright Act, the assignment of copyright will convey the copyright under this provision as well. When an assignment of copyright is not practical, ISA will receive the broadest license to publish that it can acquire. All assignments will be in writing signed by all authors and ISA. Except for certain limited use licenses implied by law (such as the right to publish letters to the editor), all licenses and permissions to republish or otherwise use works belonging to others will be in writing signed by all authors and ISA.

INT Notice
Although notice of copyright is not essential for securing the rights of copyright, it is beneficial for enforcement. Accordingly, all works published by ISA, including books, magazines, journals, videotapes, software, and promotions shall contain a proper notice of copyright. A proper notice of copyright takes the form:

© Copyright International Society of Automation (ISA) [Year prepared]. All rights reserved.

INT Registration
Registration is not required for copyright to exist but is required for enforcement. Registration consists of submitting a form with a nominal fee to the Copyright Office. All works intended for sale, especially books, proceedings, videotapes, and software, will be registered with the Copyright Office upon publication. Because of the volume produced, works such as promotions and journals will be registered only if necessary to enforce copyright.

INT 1.2 Trademark

A trademark is the right to use an identifying mark or slogan to show the origin of a product or service or to otherwise differentiate it from similar goods or services of others. In the United States, trademarks may be asserted without registration. Registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office aids in enforcement, but is not required. Enforcement outside the US usually depends on the laws of the country where the violation occurs. Unlike copyright, there are no universal trademark treaties.

INT 1.2.1 Acquisition of Rights
Before naming a new major program or service line, a trademark search will be conducted on proposed identifiers to identify potentially conflicting marks belonging to others. ISA will name program or services with minimal conflicts with trademarks belonging to others. After clearance, ISA will use the marks in interstate commerce as soon as possible.

INT 1.2..2 Notice
If a mark is not registered, ISA will give notice of its claim of trademark rights to all marks by either:

  • accompanying the mark with the symbol “™” next to the first or most prominent use of the mark, or
  • stating within the promotion, packaging, or other use of the mark that the mark is a trademark of ISA.

ISA will give notice of a registered trademark by:

  • accompanying the use with the symbol “®” next to the first or most prominent use of the mark, or
  • stating within the promotion, packaging, or other use of the mark that the mark is a trademark of ISA, “Registered, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

INT 1.2..3 Registration
As with copyright, registration is not required to secure trademark rights in the United States. Unlike copyright, where registration is a ministerial function at a nominal cost, trademark registration requires an examination of the mark and a decision by a trademark examiner at a significant cost, including application fees and attorneys’ fees. The primary benefit to registration is to prevent others from defending a claim of infringement based on ignorance; registration constitutes notice to the world. Accordingly, ISA will ordinarily register those marks associated with major or key ISA programs or services. Other marks will be evaluated on a cost-benefit basis, including the risk of infringement.

In addition to registration in the United States, key ISA trademarks will be registered in other countries where significant use of the mark is expected or the potential for infringement or misuse is significant.

INT 1.3. Trade Secrets

Trade secrets include property in which the process to develop the product or service is confidential. The classic examples are the recipes for Kentucky Fried Chicken and the formula for Coca-Cola. Also covers computer software code not easily revealed to others and even marketing strategies. ISA marketing strategy and customer lists are confidential with regard to third parties and could constitute trade secrets. Protecting trade secrets is less reliant on law than on maintaining security. Legal enforcement of trade secrets is available, but difficult, especially outside the United States.

INT 1.3.1 Acquisition of Rights
The types of intellectual property protected as trade secrets by ISA fall primarily into marketing and promotions, including customer lists, marketing plans and strategies, and marketing research commissioned exclusively for ISA. In addition, some programs may involve confidential information, such as the set of examination questions for the certification programs. This property is developed by ISA, so the rights are derived from ISA’s efforts directly.

INT 1.3.2 Notice
All property which should be kept confidential should be labeled as such.

INT 1.3.3 Registration
Registration with any outside group obviously defeats the confidentiality of the property. Instead of registration, ISA must use its best efforts to secure the property from disclosure except on a need to know basis.

INT 1.4. Goodwill

Although usually considered merely an accounting term, goodwill is closely associated with trademark rights. Goodwill is the value the reputation of the organization enjoys. While trademark registration can protect the mark from infringement by third parties, goodwill is dependent upon continued marketing of quality goods and services.

INT 1.4.1 Acquisition of Rights
In addition to securing appropriate trademark rights, the main component of goodwill is the reputation for quality programs and services represented by the ISA name and trademarks. Those rights are acquired by using ISA’s best efforts at all times.

INT 1.4.2 Notice
No notice is available or required.

INT 1.4.3 Registration
There is no means of registering goodwill. Goodwill is protected and enhanced through meeting and exceeding the expectations of ISA’s members and customers.

INT 1.5 Patents

A patent confers the exclusive right to an invention for a set period of time -- normally 20 years. The invention must be original and non-obvious. Since ISA is not a research and development organization patents are not a direct concern. However, standards activities sometimes involve patented processes or devices and patents require consideration under those circumstances.

INT 1.5.1 Acquisition
ISA does not currently own any patents and does not engage in the type of research and development that leads to patents. It is conceivable that ISA could acquire a patent as a gift by an individual or company.

INT 1.5.2 Notice
If ISA acquires a patent, then any products using that patent should state that there is a patent.

INT 1.5.3 Registration
Registration occurs before the patent is issued. ISA is unlikely to be involved in registration of a patent.

INT 2 Licensing Rights in Intellectual Property

Licenses may be granted either to ISA units and affiliates - districts, regions, divisions, and sections - or entities unaffiliated with ISA. As examples, ISA may license a group to translate and distribute a book or videotape in a language other than English, ISA may license a group to use training course materials developed for ISA, or ISA may allow others to distribute ISA publications.

ISA’s intellectual property is to be used for the benefit of the organization as a whole, rather than any group or individual within ISA.

The ISA Executive Board shall retain final authority over licensing the use of the ISA name, logo, other trademarks, copyrights, or any intellectual property. The Executive Director is delegated the authority to approve licenses that arise in the normal or ordinary course of business and are not in conflict with established policy. All requests for licenses shall be in writing directed to the Executive Director. Licenses granted will be in writing.

Use of ISA intellectual property by Society units and affiliates must not conflict with use by the Society as a whole or keep other Society units from exercising the same or similar rights within the geographic area covered by that unit. All uses must either conform to existing Society guidelines or policy or be approved in advance by the Executive Board after a showing of lack of conflict of use by other Society units. Such licensure is permitted by ISA under these policies:

INT 2.1 Use by ISA Units and Affiliates

ISA districts, regions, division, and sections are considered to be ISA units and affiliates as referenced below.

INT 2.1.1 Limited License
ISA units or affiliate of ISA are granted a limited license of the right to use the ISA name, logo, acronym, slogans, and other general identifying trademarks of ISA to promote the unit or affiliate’s activities without royalty as long as such use conforms to ISA policies.

INT 2.1.2 Licensing Authority
ISA units and affiliates may not license the use of ISA intellectual property to others without the prior authorization of the ISA Executive Board. If authorized, such licenses must follow the policies required of licenses with unaffiliated entities. If authorized, only the designated representative authorized by the Executive Board may execute agreements on behalf of ISA. (See INT 2.3.5)

INT 2.1.3 Approval of License by Executive Board
The use of all other Society intellectual property by an ISA unit or affiliate requires the advance approval by the Executive Board. Neither the ISA Executive Board nor the ISA Staff will unreasonably withhold from any ISA unit or affiliate the privilege to use the Society’s intellectual property for its own use or to advance its mission or ISA’s mission, as long as such use clearly does not conflict with established Societal objectives or use by other Societal units. Ordinarily, approval will be given only pursuant to a business plan providing for the appropriate use of the property along with payment of a royalty to ISA at the usual and customary rate for the use of the same property by unaffiliated groups.

INT 2.1.4 Section, Region, and District
Unless expressly authorized by the Executive Board, ISA units and affiliates based on geographic boundaries may not use ISA intellectual property outside the unit’s or affiliate’s geographic area except in conjunction with other units or affiliates or with the prior permission of the affected unit or affiliate.

Sections, regions, and districts will not be granted rights to distribute ISA intellectual property in an area larger than the geographic area embraced by that unit except with the consent of the other units affected and payment of a reasonable share of the revenue generated to the consenting unit or affiliate.

Sections, regions, and districts may develop and use intellectual property for their own purposes and mission within the geographic boundaries served by the unit or affiliate unless such intellectual property competes or conflicts with similar property of ISA. Intellectual property developed by other ISA units belong to ISA, although use will be limited to use by the unit unless the unit otherwise agrees.

INT 2.2 Use by Members

Members may state that they are members of ISA and may only use the ISA logo or trademarks as defined in the ISA Brand, Name, and Logo Use Policy. Examples would be for business cards, stationery, or promotions of the member’s business. An individual who is the sole owner of a company may not express or imply that the company is an “ISA Member.”

INT 2.3 Use by Unaffiliated Parties

INT 2.3.1 Purpose
Licenses for use of ISA’s intellectual property will be granted to unaffiliated parties only if such use enhances or promotes the distribution of ISA’s programs or services and is related to the purposes and mission of ISA.

INT 2.3.2 Form of License
Licenses for use of the ISA name, logo, or any other ISA intellectual property with any unaffiliated parties will be granted only by written agreements, executed by an authorized ISA representative, reviewed by legal counsel, containing limitations on the license granted and the use of the property, and ordinarily requiring payment of a royalty.

INT 2.3.3 Compensation to ISA
Unless expressly and specifically waived by the Executive Board, ISA shall receive compensation for use of ISA’s intellectual property comparable to the current market for uses of similar property of others, in the form of royalties or other appropriate compensation.

Incidental use of ISA intellectual property related to a license of other ISA intellectual property, such as the right to use the ISA name and logo to promote the distribution of ISA videotapes, does not need separate or additional compensation above that charged for the primary focus of the agreement.

INT 2.3.4 Copyright Permission
Copyright permissions, permission to others to republish minor parts of a copyrighted work, for ISA works may be granted on a royalty-free basis within the custom and practices of the publishing industry. Such permissions should be limited in scope.

INT 2.3.5 Licensor Authority
Unless expressly and specifically authorized by the Executive Board, the only authorized ISA representative for executing licenses for use of the ISA name, logo, or other intellectual property is the Executive Director or staff designee.

INT 2.3.6 Reference or Citation of ISA Standards, Recommended Practices, and Technical Reports
ISA develops standards and related documents with the intent that the terminology, concepts, requirements, and recommendations are referenced or otherwise incorporated into company standards and guidelines. Appropriate citation of the ISA document(s) shall be made.

INT 2.4 References to ISA by Other Organizations

Other organizations, including corporations, limited liability companies, and other business entities, may not express or imply in any way that it is a “Member of ISA” or that it carries out its business with any kind of ISA endorsement or certification.

INT 3 Specific Property Policies

INT 3.1 Mailing and Customer Lists

All ISA mailing and customer lists, including the membership list, are confidential. The following rules apply:

  1. The Executive Director may authorize the rental of general mailing and customer lists ensuring ISA’s rights to those lists and preventing unauthorized use of the lists by others.
  2. The Executive Director may authorize the rental of all or portions of the Society membership list as long as the Executive Director or designee approves each piece mailed under the list, the rental is restricted to a one-time use, no membership numbers appear on the list, members who so request are excluded from such lists, and the safeguards designed to protect ISA’s rights in the list exist.
  3. ISA units and affiliates will not publish for distribution beyond the membership or rent membership lists for the respective unit or affiliate without the prior approval of the Executive Board and implementation of appropriate safeguards to protect the rights to such lists.

INT 3.2 Books and Videotapes

ISA units and affiliates may distribute ISA publications on similar terms, including payment terms, as unaffiliated contractors. Without a compelling reason and Executive Board approval, any such distribution agreements shall be on a non-exclusive basis in the geographic area served by the ISA unit or affiliate.

INT 3.3 Periodicals

ISA units and affiliates may not publish periodicals that republish, translate, or compete with ISA periodicals, including InTech, ISA Transactions, and the ISA Directory of Instrumentation, without prior approval by the ISA Executive Board, an agreement with ISA, and the payment of a royalty to ISA.

INT 3.3.1 Newsletters
ISA units and affiliates may publish newsletters of original content without review or approval of ISA, but may not republish material originally appearing in any ISA publication or periodical or use any title or trademark that is the same or similar to any title or trademark of ISA without permission of ISA.

INT 3.4 Conferences and Exhibits

ISA units and affiliates may conduct local conferences and exhibits without prior approval of ISA. However, ISA units and affiliates will not name the conference and exhibit by any name that is the same or similar to ISA conferences and exhibits without the prior approval by the Executive Board. [see ISA Events and Exhibits Policy]

INT 3.5 Training

ISA units and affiliates may develop and conduct training courses without the prior approval of ISA per INT 2.1.3. The following rules apply:

  1. ISA units and affiliates may not represent such training courses as offered by ISA or use any name or designation that is the same or similar to any ISA training course, such as “Introduction to Industrial Automation and Control (FG07).”
  2. Training courses may not be offered outside of the represented geographic area without the consent of other ISA units and affiliates in the affected geographic area and negotiation of potential sharing of the revenue with the other ISA units and affiliates.
  3. Sections, regions, or districts may contract with ISA to conduct ISA training courses. The contract/distribution agreement, including payment terms, would be similar to those executed with unaffiliated contractors. Examples of an unaffiliated contractor could be an engineering services company, an independent training services provider, or a consulting firm. Without a compelling reason and Executive Board approval, any such distribution agreements shall be on a non-exclusive basis in the geographic area served by the section, region, or district.

INT 3.6 Certification Programs

ISA units and affiliates may not offer any certification programs. ISA units and affiliates may enter into agreements with ISA to support or provide any ISA certification program within the geographic area covered by the unit or affiliate.

INT 3.7 Web Links

ISA encourages use of its logo, name, or tag line for a web link.

The inclusion of a link to ISA, with or without the logo, name, or tag line, must not indicate or imply that ISA endorses, sponsors, or has a relationship with the individual or organization without the express permission of ISA. Web links to ISA from individuals and organizations must follow the ISA Brand, Name, and Logo Use Policy.

In addition, web links to ISA must adhere to these web specific principles:

  • The link must direct the browser to the ISA server; the linking site may not duplicate or reproduce the ISA material on its server without the express permission of ISA.
  • The link must exit the linking server; ISA material may not appear to be part of the linking site's content.
  • The reference to ISA must accurately identify the Society.
  • The link must be to a location on the ISA site that provides the most beneficial entry point from the link for the user, mutually agreed upon by ISA and the linking party.