The Statutes give all needed details, but reading 15 dense pages is not a suggestion most will accept. Therefore, the purpose of this post is to provide a summary tour of how MPAI operates.

MPAI has two classes of Members: Principal and Associate. Principal Members can vote. Associate Members cannot vote. Both can participate with equal rights in the development of MPAI specifications.

The figure below depict the structure of MPAI.

The General Assembly (GA), chaired by the President of the Board of Directors (BD), develops and keeps updated the Work Plan(WP). This describes the areas on which MPAI is developing and intends to develop specifications, and their expected timing. The WP is developed using inputs from Members and by issuing Calls for Interest (CfI). Anybody, including non-Members, can respond to CfIs.

When the GA decides to develop a Technical Specification (TS), it requests the Standing Committee called Requirements (Reqs) to develop requirements. Reqs does so by using input contributions from Members. If there is no consensus that technologies satisfying the requirements exist, it will issue a Call for Evidence (CfE). If there is consensus or if the CfE confirms the existence of technologies, Reqs transfers the requirements developed to the GA.

GA updates the WP and develops the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Development Committee (DC) who will develops the TS. Then the GA sends the requirements and the ToR to the BD. The Secretariat collects the names of Principal Members who intend to make technical contributions to the development of the TS (Active Members).

The BD requests the IPR Support Advisory Committee (IPR SAC) to develop a Framework Licence (FWL) for the TS within a certain date.

The IPR SAC is chaired by a Director and each Principal Member may appoint one members in the SAC. An FWL contains the elements of a future licence that can be discussed and agreed on the basis of generally accepted antitrust and competition principles, but without “values” such as royalty levels, percentage, dates etc.

The IPR SAC establishes a Subgroup composed of one representative per Active Member tasked to develop the FWL. The chair is appointed by the BD. The Subgroup may request the help of a counsel to progress its work. This is to be approved by the BD.

When the Subgroup has completed the work, it approves the FWL by 2/3 majority. The IPR SAC sends the FWL to the BD who reviews and approves the FWL, establishes the DC, appoints its chair and communicates its decisions to the GA.

The GA requests the Secretariat to collect declarations of Principal and Associate Members that they will license their essential patents according to the FWL, kicks off the work of the DC and requests Reqs to develop a Call for Technologies (CfT). Reqs does so jointly with the DC. The GA approves and issues the CfT.

Responses to the CfT are assessed jointly by Reqs and DC. The results are used by the DC to start the work of the DC. Representatives of Principal and Associate Members in appropriate numbers contribute to the development of the DC. Decisions are made by consensus detected by the chair. An issue that cannot be resolved by consensus, is brought to the attention of the GA who decides by 2/3 majority (of Principal Members).

The task of the Membership and Nominating Committee is to assess membership requests on the basis of objective and published criteria and to nominate candidate directors. The task of the  Finance and Audit Committee is to review the accounts and prepare the audit report.