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Subject: Re: [chairs] patent ruling and it's impact on standards organizations

Some info from the IETF that may prove useful. First a fwd'd msg, below that
pointers to the work of the IETF IPR working group (appears to've been
chartered circa Jul-2002). The latter has produced three I-Ds that are probably
worthwhile for interested parties to read, especially since the present OASIS
IPR policy is based rather directly on the IETF's as described in Section 10 of
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2026.txt, and what the IPR wg is doing is revising
and clarifying said rfc2026 section 10. 


------------- forwarded message --------------------------
Subject: "Written patent policy with clear guidance"
From: Dave Crocker <dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 14:09:09 -0800
To: IETF@ietf.org


Norm Beamer is a partner at Fish & Neave, which specializes in
intellectual property law.  They did the patent for the Wright Brothers.

I am forwarding his note at his request. This is not intended to state a
concern that the IETF's current efforts regarding intellectual property
are inadequate -- my non-expert guess is that we currently have pretty
good policies and communicate them well.

However it seems worthwhile to take note of a case and a warning that an
expert thinks is relevant to us.

 Dave <mailto:dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
 t +1.408.246.8253; f +1.408.850.1850

==============Forwarded message===============
From: Beamer, Norman H. <NBeamer@fishneave.com>
To: "Dave Crocker (E-mail)" <dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
Date: Friday, January 31, 2003, 12:25:11 PM

I suggest you pass this on to IETF colleagues   

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit ruled that
Rambus did not commit fraud when it was filing patents while Rambus
employees where on a standards committee for high speed memory chips.
Rmabus will be seeking $840 million in royalties from companies such
as Infineon, Hynix (which last I heard had no money) and Micron 
(Rambus collects a 3% royalty for its chip, and this chip market is
a $28 billion industry, resulting in the 840 figure). On this news,
Rambus stock rose 57%, or 4.25, to 11.69 dollars a share.

To me there is a blunt message in the decision: that it is time that
all engineering standards committees mature in their handling of patent
issues.  The stakes are ever increasing with these standards, and
everyone knows that everyone is playing patent games.  Any committee
with less than clear and explicit rules about disclosure for patent
activities by committee members should not whine later on.  In the eyes
of the CAFC, the committee that Rambus employees was on didn't clearly
define the rules, so that Rambus' actions were not sanctionable.  For
example, in the ruling, we see language such as:

    "In this case there is a staggering lack of defining details
    in the ... patent policy" ..... "When competitors participate
    in an open standards committee, their work necessitates a
    written patent policy with clear guidance on the committee's
    intellectual property position."

===========End of original message text===========

------------- end forwarded message --------------------------

Intellectual Property Rights (ipr)


Guidelines for Working Groups on Intellectual Property Issues

Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology

IETF Rights in Submissions 

Proceedings of the IPR wg at the Nov-2002 IETF meeting in Atlanta..


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