IEEE P1363 October 1996 Patent Solicitation Letter

Note: This is an old version of the letter, preserved here for historical purposes. An updated version of this letter is available here.

October 24, 1996

Open letter Re: Patent Coverage for IEEE P1363 Working Group

To whom it may concern:

As part of its continuing process of developing a standard for public-key cryptography, the IEEE P1363 working group, "Standard for Public-Key Cryptography" is soliciting information on potential patent coverage of cryptographic technology under consideration for the standard. Potential coverage by patents that are applied for but not yet issued is also solicited. Both U.S. and non-U.S. patents are 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, and has obtained letters of assurance from two relevant patent holders. The purpose of this solicitation is to identify areas of patent coverage that still may need to be reviewed. Your input is therefore requested on whether any patents or patent applications may cover any of the following areas of cryptographic technology:

If it is your position that patents (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.

Input on patent non-coverage will be also helpful to the working group. If it is your position that no patents (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.

Details about the cryptographic technologies under consideration are given in the current editorial contribution, which is updated from time to time on the working group's FTP site (, and is also available from the working group's editor, Yiqun Lisa Yin (<>, (415) 595-7703). Please be aware that although the editorial contribution substantially reflects the sense of the working group, it has not yet been accepted as a draft, and is subject to change. Moreover, the draft would be subject to further change prior to its adoption as an IEEE standard. However, in anticipation that many of the technologies listed may be included in the standard, input on patent issues is requested at this point.

More information on the P1363 standard is available from or

Correspondence on this matter should be sent to:

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

(617) 687-7057
(617) 687-7019 (fax)

Thank you for your attention.


Burt Kaliski

Initial distribution list:

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