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

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 15 January 2012 23:24 UTC

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Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 12:24:34 +1300
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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To: Jorge Contreras <>
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Cc:, "Joel M. Halpern" <>, Russ Housley <>
Subject: Re: [antitrust-policy] An Antitrust Policy for the IETF
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On 2012-01-16 11:57, Jorge Contreras wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM, Joel M. Halpern <>wrote:
>> I am glad to hear that company disclosures of terms are being looked at
>> favorably.  But that was not the question I was trying to emphasis.
>> I have seen, repeatedly, companies state licensing terms for disclosed
>> IPR, and WGs which are unhappy with those terms.  So far, so good.  that is
>> reality.
>> What I have seen people get tempted to do is for the WG to attempt to
>> persuade the company to change the licensing terms.  That, it seems to me,
>> is a very different kettle of fish.  If the understanding of the law
>> (probably due to judges) in that regard has changed, I would welcome being
>> told taht.
>> Yours,
>> Joel
> The issue of "collective negotiation" of licensing terms within an SDO is
> currently unsettled, and there are vocal advocates on each side of the
> question.  There have been no cases (at least not in the US) that are
> directly on point, as far as I'm aware.  Thus, we may wish to say nothing
> about this issue for the moment, and see how the law develops.

However, it would feel wrong to me if someone said (in a meeting or
on a mailing list) that XYZ Inc.'s license terms for a patent are
unreasonable *and* that they need to make them cheaper.

Saying that the terms are unreasonable and that the WG should therefore
seek an alternative technology that doesn't read on the patent
would feel OK.