[rfc-i] [irtf-discuss] RFCs accepted journal articles

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Fri May 3 11:23:38 PDT 2013

On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM, Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:

> On 5/3/2013 9:58 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
>> I am not a 'free software' zealot. I have never had a problem with
>> someone taking my designs and implementing them.
>> What sticks in my craw is when people propose that they take my work,
>> make it their exclusive property and limit access to it. That does not add
>> any value to me.
> So how do you feel when you provide advice or feedback to corporate IETF
> participants and they later reveal they own IPR on that protocol?

That is the reason that I think WGs should specify their IPR policy for
contributions when they are formed. I find it completely unacceptable.

I do have pending patent applications that might eventually appear in IETF
as proposed standards but if I submit them I will certainly be telling
people that I have the claims or else how are they going to know to pay me?
If someone has a patent though, they should probably write the specs at
their own expense and submit as individual submissions so the documents can
be recorded and tracked. IETF process is not really suited to a case where
one party has essential controlling patent claims and would be useless if
there were conflicting claims.

Unfortunately, that is the problem that the IETF IPR policy attempts to
address which is not the same as the principal IPR problems we face. And
the cost of policy compliance is still very high.

Intentional abuse of IETF process by actual IETF participants is a very
rare event if it has happened at all. Much more common problems are:

* Participant files 'defensive' patents, goes bust or otherwise loses
control of the IPR which is bought by a troll.

* Participant has IPR that is relevant but not critical to a proposal but
their legal department is unwilling to consider reasonable commercial terms
for making it available.

* A patent applicant reads traffic on IETF mailing lists and either files a
new patent with claims covering the ideas or adds claims to a continuation
in part of an existing patent application.

* An IPR holder files a bad faith patent suit knowing that it is going to
be much less expensive for the targets to settle than to defend the suit.

* Some participants in a WG have obtained a license for certain IPR and
they attempt to forestall competition that have not obtained licenses by
making it essential to the specification.

I have encountered all the above numerous times.

Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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