[codec] IPR situation of SPIRIT DPS's Contribution to the IETF and to the Codec WG

Stephan Wenger <stewe@stewe.org> Tue, 23 March 2010 18:02 UTC

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Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 11:02:01 -0700
From: Stephan Wenger <stewe@stewe.org>
To: Codec WG <codec@ietf.org>
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Thread-Topic: IPR situation of SPIRIT DPS's Contribution to the IETF and to the Codec WG
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Cc: yudin@spiritdsp.com, Slava Borilin <Borilin@spiritdsp.com>, vladimirs@spiritdsp.com
Subject: [codec] IPR situation of SPIRIT DPS's Contribution to the IETF and to the Codec WG
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Hi all,

Wearing my ³technical advisor to the IESG on IPR matters² hat:

Following the pattern of  yesterday¹s face-to-face session, I want to
provide you with my impression of the current BCP 79 compliance situation
regarding the IP-MR codec.

The specification of the IP-MR codec has been made available to the IETF in
the form of an Internet around October 14, 2009; see
http://tools.ietf.org/search/draft-spiritdsp-ipmr-00.  This undoubtly
constitutes a Contribution to the IETF and triggers Note Well and the
relevant provisions in BCP 79.

The draft is co-authored by Vladimir Sviridenko and Dmitry Yudin.  Slava
Borilin has extensively commented on the draft as well.  It is my
understanding of BCP79 that the three mentioned individuals are under the
obligation to disclose any patents they are reasonably and personally aware
of that relate to the IP-MR draft, to the IETF, using the IETF¹s IPR tracker
system.  If there were such patents, I would recommend that the disclosures
be made at their earliest convenience; within a month would, to me, be an
appropriate timeline; faster would be appreciated.  The mechanisms for
making disclosures are described in BCP 79 and references therein.  This
disclosure would be required even if Spirit DSP were willing to make all
their patent available under commercial terms they consider agreeable to
everyone, and if they were communicating that intent by other means.

I will note, though, that at least Slava has argued in the past towards an
unencumbered codec.  Perhaps there are no Spirit DSP patents, or other
patents, that the three Contributors are reaonsably and personally aware of
that relate to their Contributions.  BCP 79 does not contain a policy
requirement to make negative statements; that is statements to the extent
that the aforementioned individuals are not aware of related patents.  If
Slava, Vladimir, and Dmitry were not reasonably and personally aware of
patents related to their IETF Contributions, they do not need to file a
disclosure, nor say anything related to patents in public.  Silence on
patent matters is the default in the IETF, both by policy and in practice.
That said, I can imagine that a clarifying negative statement on this
mailing list would probably be appreciated by many WG participants.

Keeping all this in mind, it is my current impression that Slava, Vladimir,
and Dmitry, as well as Spirit DSP, are in compliance with BCP 79, because
none of them, based on my current inferred knowledge, are reasonably and
personally aware of patents related to their draft.  If any of them were, I
would request and recommend that a disclosure be filed at your earliest
convenience, and I would be willing to assist with the logistics.