Russ Housley wrote:
In the present instance, the invitation to use the lack of personal
knowledge as an excuse is ill-advised: a quick search for inventor name
"john-luc" "bakker" in the US patent office database of published patent
applications returns 34 patent applications with titles indicating a
connection to data networks and mobility.
I am sending this note to help you understand the IETF IPR policies;
they are fully described in BCP 79
(http://www.ietf.org/rfc/bcp/bcp79.txt). I hope this note clarifies
the responsibilities of RIM employees (and anyone else) who
participate in IETF.
IETF participants engage as individuals, not as representatives of
their employers (See Section B.1 of RFC 4677;
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4677.txt). The obligation to follow the IPR
policies in BCP 79 is an individual one, not a corporate one. Section
6.1of BCP 79 is quite clear; IETF Participants are required to
disclose IPR which they "reasonably and personally know" applies to a
Contribution. The BCP specifically excludes cases in which a
participant is unaware of IPR held by their employer.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further clarification.
It could have been that RIM internal IPR management would have isolated
IETF contributors from personal knowledge of specific applications, but
that seems not to be the case.
Perhaps the "Note Well" has some intrinsic enforcement limitations
(enforcement in the meaning that it would be useful for a third party -
neither IESG not its trust - against a patent holder who had failed to
comply). But I am not a lawyer and I don't know.
- Thierry Moreau
At 06:46 PM 11/19/2009, John-Luc Bakker wrote:
With regard to the recent discussion regarding RIM's recent IPR
disclosures, I understand the community's concerns regarding the
timeliness of the disclosure. As employees of companies we are bound by
confidentiality obligations and, in addition, cannot always control our
company's internal processes. The community's concerns have been
brought to the attention of my employer and they are in the process of
evaluating the concerns. My company has asked for your patience while
they take the time to evaluate the concerns and determine if there is an
appropriate course of action in this matter to alleviate the concerns of
Your understanding is appreciated.
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