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Optimizing Government Project

Reading Room

General Background Materials on Codes and Standards

If you are interested in learning more about voluntary codes and standards, the following materials and websites provide additional background information.

Compilation of standards from U.S. and international standards developers (ANSI)

Directory of standards developing organizations (ANSI)

Historical perspective of codes and standards (NFPA)

How a standard gets created infographic (ASTM)

Incorporation by reference (IBR) Handbook (Federal Register)

Library of indexed abstracts for scholarly articles on standards (Consortium Info)

List of standards development organizations (Consortium Info)

List of accredited standards developers (ANSI)

Online courses about standards and conformity assessment (ANSI)

Overview of codes and standards (ASNT)

Past and present news on standards (Consortium Info)

Portal with standards incorporated by reference in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (ANSI)

Resources on standards development (ISO)

Resources on standards and measurement (NIST)

Standards incorporated by reference database (NIST)

Sports, leisure and standards cartoon (ASTM)

Standards and Business (ANSI)

Standards: Industry & Academia, Public and Government (NIST)

U.S. Policy Documents on Use of Industry Standards (NIST)

Selected Standard-Setting Organizations

Standard-setting organizations develop, amend and deliver voluntary standards ready for adoption and implementation. The organizations listed below are some major code and standard development organizations. For more comprehensive references, you can refer to the U.S. government’s list of standard-developing organizations or to the ANSI Standards Portal website

African Organization for Standardization (ARSO)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International)

Codex Alimentarius Commission

European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

International Code Council (ICC)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International)

Related Curricular Resources

Other institutions have developed course material and gathered information on codes and standards. Below are links to related curricular resources. 

ANSI, Online courses about standards and conformity assessment 

Northwestern University, Strategic Standards Management

Northwestern University, Data on Technology Standards

Northwestern University, Innovation Economics Working Papers

Purdue University, Online Standards Education

University of Pittsburgh, Information Technology Standards

Selected Academic Research

Listed below are selected academic research reflecting expert opinions on codes and standards.

Bremer, Emily, “American and European Perspectives on Private Standards in Public Law,” Tulane Law Review 91:325-370 (2016).

Bremer, Emily, “Incorporation by Reference in an Open-Government Age,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 36:131-210 (2012).

Bremer, Emily, “On the Cost of Private Standards in Public Law,” University of Kansas Law Review 63:279-333 (2015).

Büthe, Tim, “Private Regulation in the Global Economy: A (P)review. Business and Politics,” Business and Politics 12:1-38 (2010).

Büthe, Tim and Mattli, Walter, The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2011).

Carrier, Michael A. “Why Antitrust Should Defer to the Intellectual Property Rules of Standard-Setting Organizations: A Commentary on Teece & Sherry,” Minnesota Law Review 87:2019-2036 (2003).

Cheit, Ross, Setting Safety Standards: Regulation in the Public and Private Sectors, Berkeley: University of California Press (1990).

Clark, Havighurst, “Foreword: The Place of Private Accrediting Among the Instruments of Government,” Law and Contemporary Problems 57:1-14 (1994).

Colendeich, Katie M., “Who Owns ‘The Law’? The Effect on Copyrights When Privately-Authored Works Are Adopted or Enacted by Reference into Law,” Washington Law Review 78:589-624 (2003).

Contreras, Jorge, “Aggregated Royalties for Top-Down FRAND Determinations: Revising ‘Joint Negotiation’,” Antitrust Bulletin 62:690-709 (2017).

Contreras, Jorge, Standards Development Patent Policy Manual, Chicago: ABA Book Publishing (2007).

Contreras, Jorge, “Patents, Technical Standards and Standard-Setting Organizations: A Survey of the Empirical, Legal and Economics Literatures,” in Peter S. Menell and David Schwartz, Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law Vol. II – Analytical Methods (2017).

Curran, Patrick D., “Standard-Setting Organizations: Patents, Price Fixing, and Per Se Legality,” University of Chicago Law Review 70:983-1009 (2003).

Cunningham, Lawrence A., “Private Standards in Public Law: Copyright Lawmaking and the Case of Accounting,” Michigan Law Review 104:291-344 (2005).

de Vries, Henk, Standardization: A Business Approach to the Role of National Standardization Organizations, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers (2010).

Eberlein, Burkard, Kenneth W. Abbott, Julia Black, Errol Meidinger and Stepan Wood, “Transnational business governance interactions: Conceptualization and framework for analysis,” Regulation & Governance 8:1-21 (2014).

Gifford, Daniel J., “Developing Models for a Coherent Treatment of Standard-Setting Issues Under the Patent, Copyright, and Antitrust Laws,” Idea 43: 331-394(2003).

Hamilton, Robert W., “The Role of Nongovernmental Standards in the Development of Mandatory Federal Standards Affecting Safety or Health,” Texas Law Review 56:1329-1446 (1978).

Jajobs, Kai, Effective Standardization Management in Corporate Settings, Hershey: IGI Global (2016).

Jakobs, Kai, International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research, Hershey: IGI Global (2011).

Jakobsen, Kraig A., “Revisiting Standards-Setting Organizations’ Patent Policies,” Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 3:43-60 (2004).

Ju, Jinyul, “Recent Developments in Korean Antitrust Cases Concerning FRAND-Encumbered Standard-Essential Patents,” Jindal Global Law Review 8:221 (2017).

Krislov, Samuel, How Nations Choose Product Standards and Standards Change Nations, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (1997).

Lawrence, Busch, Standards: Recipes for Reality, Cambridge: MIT Press (2011).

Lemley, Mark A., “Intellectual Property Rights and Standard-Setting Organizations,” California Law Review 90:1889-1980 (2002).

Lemley, Mark A. and Carl Shapiro, “Patent Holdup and Royalty Stacking,” Texas Law Review 85:1991-2049 (2007).

Lemley, Mark A., “Ten Things To Do About Patent Holdup of Standards (and One Not TO),” Boston College Law Review 48:149-168 (2007). 

Lloyd, Richard, “Key ruling in high-profile US FRAND case ‘highly biased in favor of infringers’, says Ericsson’s chief IP officer,” iam media (2018).

Loconto, Allison and Lawrence Busch, “Standards, Techno-economic Networks, and Playing Fields: Performing the Global Market Economy,” Review of International Political Economy 17: 507-536 (2010).

Loconto, Allison and Eve Fouilleux, “Politics of Private Regulation: ISEAL and the Shaping of Transnational Sustainability Governance,” Regulation & Governance 8:166-185 (2014).

Mattli, Walter and Ngaire Woods, The Politics of Global Regulation, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2009).

Melamed, A. Douglas and Carl Shapiro, “How Antitrust Law Can Make FRAND Commitments More Effective,” (2017).

Meidinger, Errol, “Forest certification as a global civil society regulatory institution,” Social and political dimensions of forest certification, 265-289 (2009).

Moore, Kimberly A., “Worthless Patents,” Berkeley Technology Law Journal 20:1521-1552 (2005).

Mueller, Janice M., “Patenting Industry Standards,” The John Marshall Law Review 34:897-946 (2001).

Nadvi, Khalid, Global standards, global governance and the organization of global value chains,” Journal of Economic Geography 8: 323-343 (2008).

O’Rourke, Dara, “Outsourcing regulation: Analyzing nongovernmental systems of labor standards and monitoring,” Policy Studies Journal 31:1-29 (2003).

Overdevest, Christine, “Codes of conduct and standard setting in the forest sector: constructing markets for democracy?” Relations industrielles/industrial relations, 59:172-197 (2004).

Potoski, Matthew and Aseem Prakash, “Green Cubs and Voluntary Governance: ISO 14001 and Firms’ Regulatory Compliance,” American Journal of Political Science, 49: 235-248 (2005).

Samuelson, Pamela, “Questioning Copyrights in Standards,” Boston College Law Review 48:193-224 (2007).

Schneiderman, Ron, Modern Standardization: Case Studies at the Crossroads of Technology, Economics, and Politics, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons (2015).

Spivak, Steven and F. Cecil Brenner, Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice, New York: Marcel Dekker (2001).

Starobin, Shana and Erika Weinthal, “The Search for Credible Information in Social and Environmental Global Governance: The Kosher Label,” Business and Politics, 12:1-35 (2010).

Tassey, Gregory, “The Roles and Impacts of Technical Standards on Economic Growth and Implications for Innovation Policy,” Annals of Science and Technology Policy 1:215-316 (2017).

Vogel, David, “Private Global Business Regulation,” Annual Review of Political Science 11:261-282 (2008).

Vogel, David, “The Private Regulation of Global Corporate Conduct. Achievements and Limitations,” Business and Society, 49: 68-87 (2010).