The Internet Standards Process
RFC 1310

Document Type RFC - Informational (March 1992; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1602
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                          Internet Activities Board
Request for Comments: 1310                           Lyman Chapin, Chair
                                                              March 1992

                     The Internet Standards Process

Status of this Memo

   This informational memo presents the current procedures for creating
   and documenting Internet Standards.  Distribution of this memo is
   unlimited.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

   1.  INTRODUCTION .................................................  2
      1.1. Internet Standards .......................................  2
      1.2. Organization .............................................  3
   2.  THE INTERNET STANDARDS PROCESS ...............................  4
      2.1. Introduction .............................................  4
      2.2. The Internet Standards Track .............................  5
      2.3. Requests for Comments (RFCs) .............................  5
      2.4. Internet Drafts ..........................................  6
      2.5. Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) ................  7
      2.6. Review and Approval ......................................  8
      2.7. Entering the Standards Track .............................  9
      2.8. Advancing in the Standards Track .........................  9
      2.9. Revising a Standard ...................................... 10
   3.  NOMENCLATURE ................................................. 10
      3.1  Types of Specifications .................................. 10
      3.2  Standards Track Maturity Levels .......................... 12
      3.3  Non-Standards Track Maturity Levels ...................... 13
      3.4  Requirement Levels ....................................... 14
   4.  EXTERNAL STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS ........................ 15
   5.  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ................................. 17
   6.  PATENT POLICY ................................................ 17
      6.1  Statement from Patent Holder ............................. 18
      6.2  Record of Statement ...................................... 18
      6.3  Notice ................................................... 18
      6.4  Identifying Patents ...................................... 19
   7.  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND REFERENCES ............................... 19
   APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY ............................................. 20
   APPENDIX B: UNRESOLVED ISSUES .................................... 21
   Security Considerations .......................................... 23
   Author's Address ................................................. 23

IAB                                                             [Page 1]
RFC 1310               Internet Standards Process             March 1992

1.  INTRODUCTION

   1.1  Internet Standards

      This memo documents the process currently used for the
      standardization of Internet protocols and procedures.

      The Internet, a loosely-organized international collaboration of
      autonomous, interconnected networks, supports host-to-host
      communication through voluntary adherence to open protocols and
      procedures defined by Internet Standards.  There are also many
      isolated internets, i.e., sets of interconnected networks, that
      are not connected to the Internet but use the Internet Standards.
      The architecture and technical specifications of the Internet are
      the result of numerous research and development activities
      conducted over a period of two decades, performed by the network
      R&D community, by service and equipment vendors, and by government
      agencies around the world.

      In general, an Internet Standard is a specification that is stable
      and well-understood, is technically competent, has multiple,
      independent, and interoperable implementations with operational
      experience, enjoys significant public support, and is recognizably
      useful in some or all parts of the Internet.

      The principal set of Internet Standards is commonly known as the
      "TCP/IP protocol suite".  As the Internet evolves, new protocols
      and services, in particular those for Open Systems Interconnection
      (OSI), have been and will be deployed in traditional TCP/IP
      environments, leading to an Internet that supports multiple
      protocol suites.  This document concerns all protocols,
      procedures, and conventions used in the Internet, not just the
      TCP/IP protocols.

      In outline, the process of creating an Internet Standard is
      straightforward: a specification undergoes a period of development
      and several iterations of review by the Internet community and
      perhaps revision based upon experience, is adopted as a Standard
      by the appropriate body (see below), and is published.

      In practice, the process is somewhat more complicated, due to (1)
      the number and type of possible sources for specifications; (2)
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