Third IEEE P1363 Patent Solicitation Letter

October 2000

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

To whom it may concern:

As was done in October of 1996 and February of 1998, the IEEE P1363 working group "Standard Specifications for Public-Key Cryptography" requests additional information on any patents or patent applications that may relate to Std 1363-2000 or the amendment that the working group is developing, namely P1363a, as work on that amendment 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 dealt with a significant number of patent issues related to the techniques included in the base standard, many of which arose in response to the October 1996 solicitation and the February 1998 solicitation.  In order to achieve standard status for Std 1363-2000, the working group obtained letters of assurance from several relevant patent holders and forwarded them to the IEEE Patent Committee.  Similarly, the working group has already dealt with some patent issues relating to the content of P1363a.  The purpose of this solicitation is to update and help to complete the work already done in this area, as the amendment 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 either in Std 1363-2000 or in the current P1363a draft, which is posted at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1363/P1363a/index.html.  For a partial list of techniques covered in Std 1363-2000, please see the February 1998 patent solicitation letter at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1363/P1363/letters/Feb98PatSol.html.  The standard itself may be purchased from the IEEE at http://standards.ieee.org/catalog/index.html.  The technologies currently mentioned in the amendment draft include, but are not limited to, 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 requests 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 also be 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 of P1363a 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 draft standard, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Correspondence on this matter should be sent to:

Ari Singer
Chair, IEEE P1363
NTRU
5 Burlington Woods
Burlington, MA  01803

(781) 221-1306
(781) 221-0117 (fax)
asinger@ntru.com

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Ari Singer
Chair, IEEE P1363