IEEE P1363 Patent Solicitation Letter

February 1998

Open letter re: Patents and Trademarks for IEEE P1363 Working Group

To whom it may concern:

The IEEE P1363 working group "Standard Specifications for Public-Key Cryptography" requests additional information on any patents or patent applications that may relate to the standard it is developing, as work on that standard nears completion. Both U.S. and non-U.S. coverage is of interest.

Under IEEE policy, a working group must identify such patent coverage, and where coverage may apply, it must obtain a letter from each relevant patent holder assuring that should the standard be covered by a given patent, the patent will be licensed in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner to users of the standard. The working group cannot carry out any "significant drafting" of material covered by patents until such a letter is obtained. Specifics of the IEEE policy are given in IEEE standards documentation.

The working group has already reviewed a significant number of patent issues related to the basic technologies proposed for the standard, many in response to an October 1996 soliciation. The working group has also obtained letters of assurance from several relevant patent holders, forwarding them to the IEEE Patent Committee. The purpose of this solicitation is to update the work already done in this area, as the draft standard is fairly stable and the project is nearing completion.

Your input is therefore requested on whether any patents or patent applications may cover any of the areas of cryptographic technology mentioned in the current P1363 draft, which is posted on Among the technologies mentioned in the draft are the following:

If it is your position that patents or patent applications (either yours or others) cover one of these areas of cryptographic technology, please provide that input to the working group. In the case that patent coverage may apply, the working group will request a letter giving required patent assurances to IEEE. If you have already replied to a previous solicitation by the working group and your position has not changed, it is not necessary to reply again.

The mention of a technology in the standard does not always require a letter giving patent assurances to IEEE. For instance, if a patent covers particular implementations of a technology (for instance, implementations of modular arithmetic), but the standard does not mandate a particular implementation, then patent assurances may not be necessary. However, in the interests of completeness, it would be helpful for the working group to know about the patent.

Input on patent non-coverage will be also helpful. If it is your position that no patents or patent applications (either yours or others) cover a particular area of cryptographic technology, please provide that input to the working group. You would of course retain the right later to take a different position, should other information become available.

Please be aware that the working group's current draft standard is not yet an IEEE standard and is subject to change.

The working group also requests information about any trademarks that may cover the names of techniques in the standard, which currently include the following:

Correspondence on this matter should be sent to:

Burt Kaliski
Chair, IEEE P1363
RSA Laboratories East
20 Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730

(781) 687-7057
(781) 687-7213 (fax)

Thank you for your attention.


Burt Kaliski
Chair, IEEE P1363

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