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Subject: [security-services] PR: The Register on SAML RSA Security patents

RSA removes patent block to SAML uptake
By ComputerWire
Posted: 30/04/2002 at 15:33 GMT

RSA Security Inc yesterday said it will grant royalty-free licenses to 
any developer that wants to use the Securities Assertions Markup 
Language (SAML) in their products. The company revealed last month that 
it has two US patents it believes cover aspects of the XML access 
control standard.

The only caveat RSA is imposing on the royalties is that any other 
companies which claim to have intellectual property covering parts of 
SAML must also grant RSA a royalty-free license to use their technology.

No other company has yet to disclose an IP interest in any other parts 
of SAML, but should one come forward, RSA's terms leave it open for them 
to levy royalties against firms other than RSA.

Also, any developer that makes an SAML product using tools from 
companies that have licensed from RSA, must also license from RSA under 
the same royalty-free terms, so RSA can keep track of where its IP is 
being used.

The patents in question are 6,085,320 and 6,189,098, both entitled
"Client/Server Protocol for Proving Authenticity". RSA disclosed the 
patents after a direct request from the SAML working group, part of the 
OASIS XML interoperability group

Eve Maler, one of Sun Microsystems Inc's engineers in the working group,
said the RSA patents "appear to be essential to the implementation of 
the SAML specification." She added that RSA's decision to go 
royalty-free is a good one for the encouraging uptake of standards in 
the emerging digital identity space.

Sun is to support SAML in its Sun ONE Platform for Network Identity 
server, and industry talk has it that SAML will also be central to the 
Sun-led Liberty Alliance Project. Liberty is the non-Microsoft answer to 
Passport, a set of standards for open, federated single sign-on 


Eve Maler                                    +1 781 442 3190
Sun Microsystems XML Technology Center   eve.maler @ sun.com

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