IP Use

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X12 Licensing

Standards exist so that we can talk to each other, have a common understanding of what is being communicated and conduct business efficiently. That is why X12 is excited to announce the new distribution model for their business-to-business (B2B) data exchange.

X12's Licensing Program is a fee-based program for Entities that incorporate X12 IP into any product or service for the benefit of a third party outside its organization.Redistribution Partners which also allows their Trading partners and end user entities of software and/or services that benefit from embedded X12 IP.Users to benefit from X12's Intellectual Property (IP) through the Redistribution Partner’s products or services for a nominal annual fee. This multi-tier licensing model creates strong partnerships between X12, Redistribution Partners, and Users, allowing greater recognition of the value X12 IP explicitly or implicitly brings to the other parties. This licensing arrangement applies to current purchases and is not retroactive to a Redistribution Partner’s previous X12 licenses.

Read More About Redistribution Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

X12's standards have been trusted and working across many industries for a long time but the costs of creating and maintaining the standards have not been distributed among all the parties accruing value from the standards. This is unsustainable over time and unfair to those who have been paying more than their fair share to make up for those paying less than their fair share. With hundreds of thousands of X12 based EDI transactions moving between thousands of trading partners daily, a licensing system that is based on a nominal fee for every trading partner allows X12 to continue to develop and maintain standards which drive effective and efficient business practices.

Additionally, the electronic world is changing fast as public cloud-based processing, more prolific customer-configurable applications and mobile-computing constantly evolve to create a new reality. X12 standards are important across these areas and X12 needs to evolve to keep up with the new uses and opportunities to use its Intellectual Property (IP).

With this in mind, X12 focused on preparing for the future with an initiative that is fair to those that accrue the value from the use of X12 IP.

Software companies and other EDI service vendors have traditionally licensed X12 products for a set fee similar to the fee paid by companies who only use X12 Intellectual Property (IP) internally. The software companies and other EDI service vendors then embedded the intellectual property in software and tools for the benefit of their customers, distributed the value of the IP widely, and collected fees from their customers based in part on the value of the IP. X12 did not recognize any portion of the revenue recognized or value derived by the software company or EDI service vendor.

The licensing program was initiated in 2016 for a limited number of Redistribution Partners, with full roll-out beginning in January 2017. This licensing arrangement applies to available X12 work products, regardless of the version but is not retroactive to previously purchased X12 products and respective licenses.

This phase of X12's Licensing Program applies to Redistribution Partners that effectively distribute and Users that directly or indirectly use X12 Intellectual Property (IP) in third party software.

Redistribution Partners include entities that incorporate X12 IP into any product or service for the benefit of a third party outside its organization. Examples of Redistribution Partners include EDI translator companies, software as a service providers, clearinghouses, value added networks and others.

Users include trading partners and end user entities of software and/or services that have incorporated X12 IP for their benefit. For example, Users benefit by using X12 transactions directly or by having their Redistributors produce/consume X12 transactions on their behalf.

Yes, there are other categories, though X12's initial focus is on Redistribution Partners and Users. Examples of other categories include independent consultants and entities that develop, for its own use, any system that uses X12 IP to accomplish a primary business purpose exclusive of a Redistribution Partner. These entities produce or consume data based on X12 IP for their own processing rather than on behalf of another entity

Fees vary for Redistribution Partners based on the number or X12 work products incorporated and the functionality being offered to Users. These costs are not intended to be punitive of prohibitive.

Fees for Users – customers of Redistribution Partners – vary based on the agreement with the Redistribution Partner, however the costs to these Users are intended to be very low.

Redistribution Partners obtain a license directly from X12 through a Redistribution Partner License Agreement.

End-users – customers of Redistribution Partners – may obtain a license from the Redistribution Partner or directly from X12, depending on the Redistribution Partners License Agreement with X12.

This licensing program is not expected to have any direct impact on your relationship with your trading partners. For additional information, please contact us via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

X12 has projects in development that will offer additional benefits to licensed Users providing even more value to this group of licensees. Some of these offerings are expected to be available in 2017.

For additional information, please contact us via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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