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Re: AW: Reasons to include ECC to our charter

2001-08-18 09:20:16

At 3:33 PM +0200 8/15/01, Dominikus Scherkl wrote:

 > IIRC, not all ECC stuff is patented, only curves over GF(q), q even,
 > which can be implemented efficiently using two-valued logic.

 As I read it, this I-D includes these.
But it also includes Curves over GF(q), q prime or a power of some
odd prime. I wouldn't appreciate it much to exclude some stuff,
now that we have a definition including simply every finite field.

I agree with Dominkus on this point. As long as what he has defined gives a means for any ECC curve deemed useful, I believe that finesses the IPR issues raised by Certicom's patents.

However, At 1:42 AM +1200 8/11/01, Peter Gutmann wrote:
The rule of thumb for ECC is something like "ECC curves are divided into three
groups, weak curves, inefficient curves, and curves patented by Certicom".

If Peter is accurate, then Certicom's IPR poses a significant obstacle to ECC utility. Do others wish to comment on this?

It may be possible to pursue an agreement along the lines of RFC1790. Certicom would have to be agreeable, and we would have to persuade the IETF as a whole such an agreement is in the IETF's interest. To my knowledge, the RFCs covered by agreement documented in 1790 did not achieve STD status, but that doesn't mean we would not succeed. It is still a useful model.

Assuming we do proceed, it would be appropriate to be warn people about classes of curves which are either inefficient to compute, or may require licensing from a third party. Both considerations limit utility of some ECC designs.

However, I would like to see more analysis of ECC curves (not to slight Peter's assessment), before I consider this matter resolved. Further, if someone could point me towards the appropriate person at Certicom to discuss the 1790 approach, please do so.


john noerenberg
  Peace of mind isn't at all superficial, really.  It's the whole thing.
  That which produces it is good maintenance; that which disturbs it
  is poor maintenance.
  -- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig, 1974

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