Re: [Cfrg] Elliptic Curve patents

Kyle Rose <krose@krose.org> Fri, 07 October 2016 12:20 UTC

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From: Kyle Rose <krose@krose.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2016 08:20:39 -0400
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To: Michael Scott <mike.scott@miracl.com>
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Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Elliptic Curve patents
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On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 5:57 AM, Michael Scott <mike.scott@miracl.com> wrote:

> I was just doing some checking on the status of patents as applicable to
> Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and I came across the very impressive patent
> portfolio of one Bernd Meyer.
>
> http://patents.justia.com/inventor/bernd-meyer?page=2
>
> See for example this one..
>
> Cryptographic method with elliptical curves
> <http://patents.justia.com/patent/8582761>
> Patent number: 8582761
> Abstract: A method determines an elliptical curve, suitable for a
> cryptographic method. An elliptical curve to be tested is prepared. The
> order of a twisted elliptical curve associated with the elliptical curve to
> be tested is determined. It is automatically checked whether the order of
> the twisted elliptical curve is a strong prime number. If the order of the
> twisted elliptical curve is a strong prime number, the elliptical curve to
> be tested is selected as an elliptical curve suitable for cryptographical
> methods.
> Type: Grant
> Filed: March 6, 2007
> Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
> Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
> Inventors: Jean Georgiades, Anton Kargl, Bernd Meyer
>
> Now I know that no-one here is a lawyer. But I would read this as
> suggesting that Siemens holds a patent on twist secure curves (like
> GoldiLocks).
>
> Tell me it ain't so. And not just that, if you look at the full portfolio,
> many other commonly used techniques for ECC are also covered.
>

There's prior art for curve25519 from as late as 2005:

https://cr.yp.to/talks.html#2005.05.19

No idea how this affects the other claims in the patent, but at least
generation of that curve predates the filing of this patent.

Kyle