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Use and Licensing

SD Association’s Licensing Program, together with the licensing program of the SD-3C, LLC and other third-party holders of essential patents, provides licenses to companies that have implemented, or would like to implement, the many technologies covered in the Association's specifications and intellectual property.

The SD standards offered by the SD Association and the SD-3C, LLC are used by approximately 450 licensees, creating a thriving ecosystem for SD solutions in thousands of consumer electronics, wireless communication, and digital imaging and networking products.

Since 2000, SD Association has developed leading edge technology for digital media storage products. The SD memory card was the first portable memory card standard to be introduced in a miniature size. It was followed with the ultra small, high-capacity card, microSD card, featuring complete backward compatibility - another first in the industry.

The SD Association's ongoing commitment to developing innovative technology will help its members grow and maintain a leadership position in digital media storage products.

Abbreviation Licensor(s) Title Description
SDALA SD Association SD Association License Agreement For the manufacture of SD host products, SD memory cards, combination cards and SDIO cards with flash memory or SD ancillary products
HALA SD-3C, LLC Host and Ancillary Product License Agreement * For the manufacture of SD host products and SD ancillary products
CLA SD-3C, LLC Card License Agreement * For the manufacture of SD memory cards, combination cards and SDIO cards with flash memory
CPRM/CPPM 4C Entity CPRM/CPPM License Agreement * For the manufacture of SD memory cards and/or host products

 

Overview of Licensing Process

The License Process

Memory Cards

If your company is planning to manufacture SD memory cards, (e.g. flash memory cards, ROM cards, SD I/O combination cards, miniSD cards or microSD cards) or contract to have SD memory cards manufactured by a third-party on your behalf, your company is required to:

  1. Become a member of the SD Association
  2. Execute a SDA License Agreement *
  3. Ensure you have a valid Card License Agreement (CLA) with the SD-3C, LLC by contacting SD-3CAdmin@millerkaplan.com *
  4. SD Specifications for SD memory cards currently require implementation of CPRM. More information on license rights can be found by contacting the 4C Entity, LLC (www.4centity.com) *

Host and Ancillary Products

If your company is planning to manufacture or have manufactured SD Host Products (eg. SD card readers, cell phones, cameras or computers) or SD Ancillary Products, (eg. adapters or SD I/O cards) your company is required to complete the following steps:

  1. Become a member of the SD Association
  2. Execute a SDA License Agreement
  3. Ensure you have a valid Host/Ancillary Product License Agreement (HALA) with the SD-3C, LLC by contacting SD-3CAdmin@millerkaplan.com *
  4. Implementation of CPRM for Host Products is optional under the SD Specification. If implementing CPRM in host products to record content on SD memory cards, contact the 4C Entity, LLC (www.4centity.com) to determine your license rights *

Research and Development Phase

If your company is in the R&D phase and needs access to the SD specifications, a one year (non-membership) contract is available. Your company is required to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete Non-Disclosure Agreement
  2. Provide payment of $1000 USD to the SD Card Association

If your company becomes a member of the SD Association within ninety (90) days of the effective date of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, then the SD Association will credit the $1000 fee towards your membership.

Disclaimers

* Each company considering executing any license has the obligation to understand and interpret license agreements themselves and should seek the advice of their own legal counsel as necessary. Any information provided by the SD Association with respect to third-party licensors is provided merely as an accommodation and should not be regarded as authoritative.  You are solely responsible for determining the need for, and applicability of, various SD technology licenses to your particular situation, determining the scope and validity of the rights being licensed, and the negotiation of any license agreements with such third parties.

The SD Association is not responsible for administering or negotiating the terms of licenses with third-parties (including without limitation the SD-3C, LLC or the 4C Entity, LLC) or identifying  license rights that may be desirable or required for particular product implementations.  Please see the License Assurance and Disclosure statements filled by third-parties with the SD Association regarding claimed third-party intellectual property applicable to SD Specifications.  The implementer is solely responsible for identifying, evaluating, and, if needed, negotiating and acquiring licenses to third party intellectual property required for product implementations.