Re: [antitrust-policy] An Antitrust Policy for the IETF

"Joel M. Halpern" <jmh@joelhalpern.com> Sun, 15 January 2012 21:19 UTC

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Message-ID: <4F1342D8.50002@joelhalpern.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 16:19:20 -0500
From: "Joel M. Halpern" <jmh@joelhalpern.com>
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To: Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>
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Cc: antitrust-policy@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [antitrust-policy] An Antitrust Policy for the IETF
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This particular item:

On 1/15/2012 3:38 PM, Russ Housley wrote:
> IETF meeting participants MAY:
>
...
>   - discuss licensing costs of essential patent claims associated with
>     different technical approaches;

Looks incorrect to my non-lawyerly eye.  Discussing the licensing costs 
seems to get into discussion  which we should not have.  Discussing 
whether a given patent that has been disclosed applies / can be avoided 
seems to be within what I have been told the anti-trust rules are. 
However, b ased on my experience having watched courts interpret 
patents, I would tend to guess that such efforts are far less useful 
than people think they are.

The other piece that I have been told is important, that is missing from 
the prohibited lists is that the IETF MUST NOT engage in negotiating 
licensing terms.  The lawyers have told us repeatedly that such would be 
dangerous behavior.

Yours,
Joel