IEEE P1363: Patent Issues

Under IEEE policy, a working group must identify patent coverage related to a standard in development. Where coverage may apply, the working group 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 a patent until such a letter is obtained. Specifics of the IEEE policy are given in IEEE standards documentation.

The working group requested updated information about patents and trademarks in an open letter.

The P1363 working group has obtained the following letters from several patent holders providing assurance of patent licensing policy:

The working group has also received the following additional correspondence on intellectual property issues:

The IEEE Standards Department will maintain copies of these letters as part of its permanent file for the IEEE P1363 project. The working group has requested permission from the authors of the letters to post the letters on this Web page; the letters will be added as permission is received.

Some of the material in the various responses is relevant to techniques that had at one time been considered for the P1363 standard, but which have been deferred to the P1363a project.

The working group has sent two open letters requesting information about patents, one in October 1996 and the other in February 1998. The first was sent initially to the P1363 mailing list, the sci.crypt news group, Prof. Mihir Bellare (UC San Diego), Dr. Stephen M. Matyas (IBM), Dr. Kaisa Nyberg (Finnish Defence Forces), Prof. Michael O. Rabin (Harvard University), Prof. Phil Rogaway (UC Davis), Dr. Rainer Rueppel (r3 security engineering), Prof. Jennifer Seberry (University of Wollongong), Prof. H.C. Williams (University of Manitoba), Dr. Yuliang Zheng (Monash University), and representatives of Certicom, Cylink, Matsushita Corporation, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NTT, NeXT Computer, RSA Data Security, Siemens, and Thomson. It was later also sent to Prof. Silvio Micali (MIT). The second was sent to the P1363 mailing list, to those who responded to the first letter (generally with further requests for clarification requested by the working group), and to some who had not responded to the first letter. It was also sent to NIST with a request for clarification on issues related to the Digital Signature Algorithm and the Secure Hash Algorithm, and to representatives of HP, Sun and TRW.

This site was last modified on March 17, 2000.
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