Re: [Cfrg] Patents and the new elliptic curves

Alyssa Rowan <akr@akr.io> Wed, 17 September 2014 07:05 UTC

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Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:05:39 +0100
From: Alyssa Rowan <akr@akr.io>
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Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Patents and the new elliptic curves
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Thanks, Michael.

> Microsoft has a policy of avoiding patent searches, not reading
> patents, not commenting on patents etc, so they have not been
> particularly helpful.

Of course it's going to be bloody hard for us to evaluate if curve
proposals are securely, simply and efficiently implementable on
grounds of IP1 and especially IP2 without checking the patent status
of ladders securely, simply and efficiently implementing them.

Being fair, Microsoft is far from a monolithic entity. Different
employees act differently. Some have been wonderful, friendly and
helpful. Some have been… less so.

For example, I find it incredibly hard to square the statements (from
the same person, Ben Black) that they went through "weeks of addition
review to ensure ECCLib [was] released under APL2" - yet somehow were
unaware of even their own company's patents in the same field
(notwithstanding they were apparently from MSR China)? Kindly explain.

I note the palpable irony of a few people sensibly investigating if
there's something up the sleeves of those introducing curves _named_
"Nothing Up My Sleeves", and meeting resistance.

We are waiting on a response from Legal (which has been chased).
Perhaps that will clarify matters regarding that patent in particular,
and any others which Microsoft hold or know about.

- -- 
/akr
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