Simon Josefsson wrote:
Brian E Carpenter <brian(_dot_)e(_dot_)carpenter(_at_)gmail(_dot_)com> writes:
On 2009-11-24 06:44, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 08:16:49 -0500
Scott Brim <scott(_dot_)brim(_at_)gmail(_dot_)com> wrote:
Simon Josefsson allegedly wrote on 11/23/2009 5:03 AM:
John-Luc said he is bound by confidentiality obligations from his
company, and I think the same applies to most employees of larger
organizations. There is nothing explicit in BCP 79 to protect
against this apparent conflict of interest, or is there?
Since disclosure is required
for anyone submitting documents or participating in IETF
discussions, a person who does not disclose IPR for this reason, or
any other reason, must not contribute to or participate in IETF
activities with respect to technologies that he or she reasonably and
personally knows to be Covered by IPR which he or she will not
Precisely. The conflict Simon mentions was of course known to most of
the WG; that's one reason we have that clause.
IMHO, BCP79 creates no particular problem for corporate lawyers who
are instructed by their corporate management to ensure that the company
behaves as a good citizen in its standards activities. This is strongly
in the company's interests, anyway, since failure to disclose when
required by a standards process threatens the validity of the patent.
There is no requirement in the IETF process for organizations to
disclose patents as far as I can see. The current approach of only
having people participate, and disclose patents, in the IETF is easy to
work around by having two persons in an organization doing different
things: one works on specifying and standardizing technology, and the
other is working on patenting the technology.
This is certainly correct in principles. But to which extent the IETF
disclosure approach "is easy to work around by having two persons ..."
is a matter of appreciation.
My understanding is that it is not easy to arrange protocol engineer
rolls in such a way. I'm quite sure you don't have a clear case which
you can refer to support the opposite view. The reason I am confident is
that both inventor status and an IETF contributor require creativity in
general. The IETF collective engineering faces technological challenges
like any other design group.
I guess it is not realistic to expect managers to send protocol
engineers with little creativity traits to the IETF in order to preserve
the ability to file patent applications without disclosure.
This is certainly correct, but I am afraid the cause is more profound
than the above IPR disclosure work around. Specifically, the Qualcom vs
Broadcom case on JVT over H.264 IPR would have taught corporate lawyers
that a standardization body membership contract binding to the
corporation is a must for IPR disclosure enforcement against the
corporation. (I am not a lawyer ...) The IETF does not use this approach.
It really is not the IETF's problem. It is a problem for a company that
chooses not to behave as a good citizen.
The situation remains that the IETF does not have any mechanism to apply
pressure on organizations to disclose patent information.
- Thierry Moreau
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