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Member Area

Participant obligations

In addition to acceptance of the organization's Charter, as a condition of membership PDF Association members agree to abide by the IPR policy and Code of Conduct, to use of ISO draft documents correctly, to work within PDF Association processes, and to promptly pay membership dues.

Non-members participating in PDF Association Liaison Working Groups and events agree, as a condition of participation, to abide by the PDF Association's IPR policy and Code of Conduct.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy

This text was adapted from and is fully aligned with the ISO/IEC/ITU Common Patent Policy.

The following is a "code of practice" regarding patents covering, in varying degrees, the subject matters of PDF Association publications (collectively referred to as “Deliverables”).

The rules of the "code of practice" are simple and straightforward. Deliverables are drawn up by technical and not patent experts; thus, they may not necessarily be very familiar with the complex international legal situation of intellectual property rights such as patents, etc.

Deliverables are non-binding; their objective is to ensure compatibility of technologies and systems on a worldwide basis. To meet this objective, which is in the common interests of all those participating, it must be ensured that the Deliverables, their applications, use, etc. are accessible to everybody.

It follows, therefore, that a patent embodied fully or partly in a Deliverable must be accessible to everybody without undue constraints. To meet this requirement in general is the sole objective of the code of practice. The detailed arrangements arising from patents (licensing, royalties, etc.) are left to the parties concerned, as these arrangements might differ from case to case.

This code of practice may be summarized as follows:

  1. The PDF Association is not in a position to give authoritative or comprehensive information about evidence, validity or scope of patents or similar rights, but it is desirable that the fullest available information should be disclosed. Therefore, any party participating in the work of the PDF Association should, from the outset, draw the attention of Standards Director or the CEO, respectively, to any known patent or to any known pending patent application, either their own or of other organizations, although the PDF Association is unable to verify the validity of any such information.
  2. If a Deliverable is developed and such information as referred to in paragraph 1 has been disclosed, three different situations may arise:
    1. The patent holder is willing to negotiate licences free of charge with other parties on a nondiscriminatory basis on reasonable terms and conditions. Such negotiations are left to the parties concerned and are performed outside the PDF Association.
    2. The patent holder is willing to negotiate licences with other parties on a non-discriminatory basis on reasonable terms and conditions. Such negotiations are left to the parties concerned and are performed outside the PDF Association.
    3. The patent holder is not willing to comply with the provisions of either paragraph 2.1 or paragraph 2.2; in such case, the Deliverable shall not include provisions depending on the patent.
  3. Whatever case applies (2.1, 2.2 or 2.3), the patent holder has to provide a written statement to be filed with the PDF Association, using the "Patent Statement and Licensing Declaration" Form. This statement must not include additional provisions, conditions, or any other exclusion clauses in excess of what is provided for each case in the corresponding boxes of the form.
  4. All drafts submitted for comment shall include on the cover page the following text:

    “Recipients of this draft are invited to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent rights of which they are aware and to provide supporting documentation.”

  5. A published document for which no patent rights are identified during the preparation thereof shall contain the following notice in the Foreword:

“Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent rights. The PDF Association shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.”

  1. A published document for which patent rights have been identified during the preparation thereof shall include the following notice in the introduction:

“The PDF Association draws attention to the fact that it is claimed that compliance with this document may involve the use of a patent concerning (...subject matter…) given in (...subclause…).”

Questions about this policy should be directed to info@pdfa.org.

Code of Conduct

Our Pledge

We as members, contributors, and leaders pledge to make participation in our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, visible or invisible disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, caste, color, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to a positive environment for our community include:

  • Demonstrating empathy and kindness toward other people
  • Being respectful of differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences
  • Giving and gracefully accepting constructive feedback
  • Accepting responsibility and apologizing to those affected by our mistakes, and learning from the experience
  • Focusing on what is best not just for us as individuals, but for the overall community

Examples of unacceptable behavior include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery, and sexual attention or advances of any kind
  • Trolling, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or email address, without their explicit permission
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting

Enforcement Responsibilities

Community leaders are responsible for clarifying and enforcing our standards of acceptable behavior and will take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any behavior that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.

Community leaders have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, and will communicate reasons for moderation decisions when appropriate.


This Code of Conduct applies within all community spaces, and also applies when an individual is officially representing the community in public spaces. Examples of representing our community include using an official e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event.


Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported to the community leaders responsible for enforcement at code-of-conduct@pdfa.org or directly to the CEO or Chair of the Board of Directors. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated promptly and fairly.

All community leaders are obligated to respect the privacy and security of the reporter of any incident.

Enforcement Guidelines

Community leaders will follow these Community Impact Guidelines in determining the consequences for any action they deem in violation of this Code of Conduct:

1. Correction

Community Impact: Use of inappropriate language or other behavior deemed unprofessional or unwelcome in the community.

Consequence: A private, written warning from community leaders, providing clarity around the nature of the violation and an explanation of why the behavior was inappropriate. A public apology may be requested.

2. Warning

Community Impact: A violation through a single incident or series of actions.

Consequence: A warning with consequences for continued behavior. No interaction with the people involved, including unsolicited interaction with those enforcing the Code of Conduct, for a specified period of time. This includes avoiding interactions in community spaces as well as external channels like social media. Violating these terms may lead to a temporary or permanent ban.

3. Temporary Ban

Community Impact: A serious violation of community standards, including sustained inappropriate behavior.

Consequence: A temporary ban from any sort of interaction or public communication with the community for a specified period of time. No public or private interaction with the people involved, including unsolicited interaction with those enforcing the Code of Conduct, is allowed during this period. Violating these terms may lead to a permanent ban.

4. Permanent Ban

Community Impact: Demonstrating a pattern of violation of community standards, including sustained inappropriate behavior, harassment of an individual, or aggression toward or disparagement of classes of individuals.

Consequence: A permanent ban from any sort of public interaction within the community.


This Code of Conduct was adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 2.0Translations are available.

ISO drafts and supporting content

ISO owns the copyright on all draft standards developed in ISO Working Groups.

All in-process ISO draft standards and the supporting documents (informally known as "n-docs") distributed to respective ISO committees within the standards development process are available to current Individual, Full, Partner and Observer members in consideration of the PDF Association’s category “A” liaison arrangement with ISO.

Corporate members are prohibited from re-distributing or re-publishing any ISO draft document beyond their own employees. Individual members may not redistribute ISO drafts whatsoever; they are for personal use only.

NOTE: ISO draft documents are not exposed to non-members participating in Liaison Working Groups.

PDF Association processes

Working groups

PDF Association working groups are open to all PDF Association members. The discussions and documents developed in these working groups are restricted to members of the PDF Association, and may not be distributed to others without the express consent of the working group's members as expressed in a ballot.


Formal publications are developed under the PDF Association's publication procedures. The majority of PDF Association organization and working group publications are released to the public via pdfa.org. They may not be hosted on other websites without the express permission of the PDF Association.

PDF Association membership dues

Membership dues go to maintain the PDF Association's infrastructure and resources and to pay for its staff. Prompt payment of current-year membership dues is vital.

Notice of payment due for the current year are sent to members before January 15 and are due by February 21.

The following policy governs how the PDF Association will respond to non-paying members:

  • If membership dues remain unpaid by March 31 the members’ content on pdfa.org is frozen; no new news posts, products, case studies or any other post type will be accepted, including sponsorships and discounted tickets for events. Changes requested in the Member Area will not long be processed.
  • If membership dues remain unpaid by September 30 the member’s profile is suspended; the membership is considered as abandoned.

Members terminating or abandoning their membership are obliged to remove the PDF Association logo from their website and marketing materials.

In all cases membership reinstatement requires payment of unpaid dues.

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