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Subject: RE: [chairs] Patent license friction...

Thanks for clarifying all this. 
It might be an idea to add a colour coded column to this table -
to indicate which ones are RF and which ones require licensing for implementers - as right now everything is lumped together - and people may be forgiven for thinking these being all publicly approved spec's means they are all open and public licensing as well.
I understand the need to be able to keep everything in synch'.  I'm not sure that decoupling the IP needs from the spec' however is necessarily turning out in practice to be the best / least confusing approach.  We could always allow adminstrative corrections to specifications directly when IP needs change - that would cover off the points you raise.  That way we have just one place for everything - the specification download.
One question though - if I sign an agreement - and then subsequently the terms change - do I have to re-sign?  Seems like we probably have to have that covered in the IP assignment clauses that OASIS asks for - so grandfathering can occur.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [chairs] Patent license friction...
From: "Philpott, Robert" <rphilpott@rsasecurity.com>
Date: Tue, May 02, 2006 9:40 am
To: "David RR Webber (XML)" <david@drrw.info>, "Wachob,Gabe"
Cc: "Chairs OASIS" <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>, "Frederick Hirsch"
<frederick.hirsch@nokia.com>, "John Messing" <jmessing@law-on-line.com>


From: David RR Webber (XML) [mailto:david@drrw.info]
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 9:19 PM
To: Wachob,Gabe
Cc: Chairs OASIS; Frederick Hirsch; John Messing
Subject: RE: [chairs] Patent license friction...




As a TC chair I've not had to cover IP on a spec' so I'm a little surprised to find that this is not more formally addressed in the OASIS specifications requirements.


I would expect something akin to:


a) All licensing requirements clearly stipulated as part of the body of the specifications in a specific document section (beyond just the normal OASIS license blurb).

[RSP] As IP issues can arise at any time, including after the spec has been approved, I feel that putting such info in the spec is not a good idea since it could end up being incomplete unless you rev the spec.  The current document template refers people to the IPR page on the TC web site and, IMO, that should remain the authoritative, single place to go look for IP claims and the required licensing for those claims. If the web site is not clear, especially on the licensing process, TC administration should address it with the IP claimants and get it corrected.  But I personally don’t want to see this stuff going in the specs.


b) Addendum entry that references points of contacts for members that are asserting license claims

[RSP] As I said, IMO, the web site is sufficient.


c) Reference to a ZIP file stored in the TC documents area that contains a copy of each actionable license from each such member.

[RSP] This MIGHT be a reasonable thing to do, but since companies sometimes change their contract and licensing forms or update license wording, they might not want to do this, and it runs the risk of becoming incomplete as well.  Also, since some IP might be asserted by companies that are not OASIS members, you’d not likely get them to provide such a file to include in the ZIP file.


I don’t believe the web site says this, but if other non-member IP claims are known, there probably SHOULD be a place on the TC IPR page to at least mention that and hopefully list who they are.  I’ll also point out that the IPR pages could be organized a bit better.  Just putting some links at the top to each of the individual declarations would be helpful. As it is now, it’s just a set of letters appended to each other and you have to just scroll through them.


We could then go one step further and note that members who waive the right to include such entries a) thru c) - are therefore providing a RF license for any relevant IP they may adjudge to be applicable either currently or subsequently later.


If this is not the case - I would suggest we ask the BOD to review this urgently and create policy - before we get more IP related specifications out there that are not clearly delimited. 

[RSP] I certainly don’t feel that it’s not clear who has made IP claims on SAML (they’re all on the web page at http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/security/ipr.php); the TC process is quite clear about soliciting claim info from members and getting those declarations posted. However, the licensing process in the Fidelity statement IS currently ambiguous. This was actually pointed out to them recently and we’ve been working with them to get that fixed (it’s almost done).  The licensing process for the AOL and RSA claims however are quite clear.  AOL uses a defensive suspension provision (i.e. you don’t have to do anything to get an RF/RAND license, but if you bring any IP claims against them, you lose that license).  The current RSA process states that implementers MUST download/sign/return a license from the RSA web site (link is provided).  Note that this will be changing very shortly as we have submitted a new letter to OASIS in the past few days that changes our process to a defensive suspension provision, ala the AOL declaration. 


IMO, if there are TC’s with encumbered specs that don’t have clear info on their TC IPR page for users of the specs, then that is a problem that TC administration should address with the TC.  I don’t think we need additional, multiple places to put the info where the possibility arises for one (i.e. the specs, a ZIP file) to become out-of-date.


It’s always a technology adopter’s responsibility to find out whether they are using someone else’s IP, and if so, properly licensing that IP.  The current OASIS process is clear on how to locate that info. OASIS can and should make sure that the info is clear on the licensing process for each claim, but that’s a relatively minor admin issue IMO. Once the claims and licensing process are declared,it’s the responsibility of the IP holder to monitor industry use of their IP and ensure that users are licensed. Otherwise, I believe they run the risk of losing their rights to the IP because they didn’t attempt to defend their claims – obviously IANAL so take this with a grain of salt J)




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