My company is a member of MIPI Alliance. We want to license an IP block that implements a MIPI specification from a non-member, and implement it in our products. Can we do so?

No. A non-member who is creating and licensing an IP block that implements a MIPI specification is making an unauthorized use of MIPI intellectual property. The non-member will have accessed the specification via improper means and is using it without MIPI Alliance’s consent. A company that receives misappropriated or infringing materials from a non-member will be complicit in (and potentially liable for) this wrongful behavior, even if they could obtain authorized access to similar materials via their membership in MIPI Alliance.

If my company, a MIPI member, creates and grants licenses to an IP block that implements a MIPI specification, must our customers who license the IP from us and then implement the IP into a product also be MIPI members?

Yes. Most MIPI specifications are confidential and may only be disclosed as authorized by MIPI Alliance. MIPI Alliance has authorized the disclosure of confidential MIPI specifications to non-members only in limited circumstances, such as to contractors assisting MIPI members with the development of “Compliant Portions,” or as minimally necessary for the purposes of creating support documentation for a Compliant Portion. Disclosure of specifications and material derived from specifications to non-members is generally prohibited.

If my company creates and grants licenses to an IP block that implements a MIPI specification, but does not implement the block in end products (such as ICs or electronics), must we be a MIPI member?

Yes. Creating an IP block that implements a MIPI specification requires access to the specification document. Most MIPI specifications are confidential and available only to MIPI members. A non-member company that accessed and used a confidential MIPI specification to develop an IP block would be misappropriating a MIPI trade secret and infringing various MIPI intellectual property rights. 

If my company licenses an IP block that implements a MIPI specification from an IP provider that is a MIPI member, must we be a MIPI member?

Yes. The MIPI IPR structure facilitates licensing only by and among MIPI members. Licensing obligations attach only to what the MIPI Membership Agreement calls “Compliant Portions,” defined as “those specific portions of products (hardware, software or combinations thereof) that … both implement and are compliant with the relevant portions of the MIPI Specification.