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Corporate side-effect [Re: Possible RFC 3683 PR-action]

2008-03-25 14:01:30
On 2008-03-26 08:43, Thierry Moreau wrote:

Russ Housley wrote:

Raising a technical problem anonymously does not seem to be a 
concern.  However, there could be significant IPR problems with 
anonymous solutions to technical problems.

It is my understanding that IETF is already in this type of problems.

What you describe is a different problem...

Solutions contributed by employees of large organizations could be 
problematic, as soon as unpublished patent applications are considered 
confidential corporate trade secrets circulated on a "need-to-know" 
basis, which is recommended practice by patent practitioners anyway.

Correct. That's one reason we have the "reasonably and personally
known" clause. If an IETF contributor is on the need-to-know list,
s/he certainly has to force the issue with the corporate IPR
folk. It can be painful and slow.

Sometimes one wonders even about published patent applications, 
especially when a US patent agent expects broad claims to be tailored to 
the prior art in the course of examination - hardly anyone from the 
corporation would be allowed to make well-informed statements about the 
connection of the patent application to an SDO activity.

But that doesn't remove the obligation to disclose. You'll notice that
most disclosures are very general in actual content, since nobody
wants to give away the details of a patent in advance.

In practice, I suspect that many corporations abstain from contributing 
to IETF in specific standardization areas where they have an IPR 
strategy, and so the scope of IETF activities - and achievements - is 

That's unknowable, but is certainly a very old story - well understood
when the IPR BCPs were first developed. I don't think there's any
news here.

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