For a technology consortium that plans to create any type of deliverables -- particularly specifications -- an intellectual property rights (IPR) policy is absolutely essential. Not having one will almost certainly discourage some or all participants from actively contributing to such efforts. Worse, adoption of your organization's specifications will almost certainly be limited if implementers are not sure what licensing rights they have or need. Consortia do themselves a big favor, then, by defining and making readily available IPR Policies as early into the organization’s life cycle as possible. What's more, associations are generally encouraged to develop such policies before any work on deliverables has begun. While all IPR Policy negotiations among members of a technical consortia can expect to get contentious at some point -- and why not, given the potential financial stakes involved -- the process only gets thornier when a late-to-bloom IPR Policy is the only thing standing in the way of technical progress.