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Clean Room Design

Last updated: July 16, 2016

What Does Clean Room Design Mean?

Clean room design is a reverse engineering and cloning technique that captures copyrighted and patented processes for reconstruction.

Clean room design implementation provides a buffer against intellectual property infringement allegations via the clean room environment model specification, which implies that developers do not have access to competing intellectual property.



Clean room design may also be called a Chinese wall.

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Techopedia Explains Clean Room Design

Clean room separates reverse engineering and development teams to create a clean technology environment. Small competitors with budget limitations or lacking innovation may use clean room design to compete with large product and technology enterprise counterparts.

In 1982, Columbia Data Products released the MPC 1600 - the first clone of IBM's basic input/output system (BIOS) - using the clean room design technique. Another example is the Laser 128 by Video Technology Ltd. (VTech), which cloned the Apple IIc and managed to avoid litigation because the reverse engineering VTech used to copy Apple's technology was not found to violate Apple's patents or copyrights.

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