AN> - Many a message have been dedicated toward discussing the potential
AN> abuse Microsoft may undertake while armed with a patent. However,
AN> there has been little discussion regarding Microsoft's willingness and
AN> ability (via deep pockets) to fend off counter patent claims. Should
AN> Sender ID go forward with the acceptance of Microsoft's IPR, it leaves
AN> little doubt that another entity claiming rights to such technology
AN> will have to go through Microsoft to find remedy. However, if MARID
AN> were to produce another standard such as Classic SPF or even CSV, who
AN> will defend a legal claim against it?
My primary reactions to this paragraph and the comments in response to
it is that it is distracting and that this group is not particularly
competent to pursue it.
(The idea that we should be more comfortable with knowing of an
encumbrance and that it has deep pockets to defend it, than with
proposals that have unknown encumbrance and no known pockets to defend
it, strikes me as clever but pretty bizarre. Think of the implications
for all other IETF work...)
As has been noted, the fact that something is not currently identified
as being encumbered does not mean that something won't surface later.
(That's why they are called submarine patents.)
I am used to seeing IETF working groups deal with what is in front of
them. I am used to seeing IETF working groups get thoroughly bogged
down, when they try to explore abstract hypotheticals, particularly when
they involve social issues, such as the law.
When companies assert IPR for work in the IETF, I am used to seeing
rather simple questions pursued: Are the terms for use of the IPR
acceptable to the community and does the community think it likely that
the company will act in good faith?
I have mostly been finding the extensive debate about 'the open source'
requirements to be a bit odd, in terms of the IETF requirements. Useful
input, perhaps, but hardly definitive. Microsoft has iterated their IPR
documents. The changes have been significant.
If anything, I find it reassuring that they are clear about their limits
and that those limits seem to fall within the range of limits this
community has accepted from others.
Dave Crocker <dcrocker-at-brandenburg-dot-com>
Brandenburg InternetWorking <www.brandenburg.com>
Sunnyvale, CA USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>