Tuesday, May 6, 2008

JustSystems boosts acceptance of XBRL with donation of intellectual property rights

JustSystems said Monday that it is contributing its intellectual property rights for its invention of extensible business reporting language (XBRL) to XBRL International, the standards body responsible for overseeing the language's specification.

JustSystems is making the move as part of its campaign to help organizations adopt XBRL, the XML -based standard for communicating business and financial information. The company made the announcement at XBRL International Conference in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Under the terms of this contribution, JustSystems will not assert patent rights to the XBRL formatting linkbase, although the company will maintain invention rights. The developer community will be able to freely apply intellectual property and all documentation.

The XBRL formatting linkbase provides a standards-based method for defining how XBRL data — which is complex and largely unreadable by people — is rendered to documents, web pages, wireless devices and other applications. By mapping data elements to specific formatting conventions, the formatting linkbase helps organizations to ensure the consistent display of XBRL data across multiple output formats and delivery channels.

Jake Sorofman, senior vice president of marketing and business development for JustSystems, said in a press release:

“Now that XBRL has matured and regulators such as the U.S. SEC are gearing up for a mandate, organizations must take aggressive action to understand the implications and applications of XBRL within their domain. With XBRL momentum building, our campaign is designed to help organizations jumpstart their XBRL initiatives and stay ahead of the curve.”

I recently produced a podcast with Sorofman, in which we discussed the importance and future of structured documents and authoring tools. You can listen to the podcast here, and read the transcript here. [Disclosure: JustSystems is a sponsor of BriefingDirect podcasts.]