[core] IPR/3241 (Re: Upcoming virtual interim meetings (Re: CoRE@IETF102: Summary))

Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org> Thu, 09 August 2018 13:41 UTC

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Subject: [core] IPR/3241 (Re: Upcoming virtual interim meetings (Re: CoRE@IETF102: Summary))
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On Aug 9, 2018, at 14:50, Klaus Hartke <hartke@projectcool.de> wrote:
> 
> https://datatracker.ietf.org/ipr/3241/

Right.  Not sure that we need to spend time on this in the interim.

At the next main meeting, the chairs plan to have a short segment on timely patent claim (“IPR”) disclosures.

{“chair-hat”: “off”, “discussion”: “

(Warning: The following lines are not legal advice, I’m not a lawyer.
Please stop reading here if you don’t want to be encumbered by the discussion; yes: in some jurisdictions what you know can be used against you.
As a general piece of advice that I’m not going to further detail, it is usually counterproductive to discuss validity of patent claims on an open mailing list.  I’m making an exception here for a reason.)

I don’t read patent claims, but made an exception here because of the surprise moment.

The priority date on this patent is March 2011, which is when we discussed having a way to communicate the total size of the representation of a resource that is accessed via the Block protocol.  At the time, one of the inventors listed on the patent had a draft describing a Size option for this(*).  These morphed into Size1, Size2, and eventually became a separate, independent part of the overall block-wise transfer protocol.

I personally don’t see a need for the WG to act here, for the following reasons:

— the licensing conditions seem fine to this non-lawyer (defensive/reciprocal only, no charge).
— the part of the block-wise protocol that could be affected (the Size1/Size2 options) are optimizations one can live without (and, as far as I am aware, are not widely implemented).
— frankly, if my hypothesis that there was no patent claim disclosure (“IPR disclosure”) at the time, and for seven more years, is true, that might weaken any claims.
— both a bug and a feature: This is a Chinese patent, so for many people any juridical handling of this may be harder to predict than for patent claims closer to home.  But then, this seems to be relevant for the Chinese market only.

All that said, of course, the patent claim is one more little thing someone might have to look at who wants to productize a full-function implementation of the block-wise transfer protocol, increasing transaction costs.

“}.  WG chair hat back on: 

I applaud Huawei for making this disclosure; late is better than never.
In the unlikely event that WG members do see a need for the WG to act on this disclosure, please converse in private with the chairs first: core-chairs@ietf.org

Grüße, Carsten

(*) I cannot find a patent claim (“IPR”) disclosure on this: https://datatracker.ietf.org/ipr/search/?submit=draft&id=draft-li-core-coap-size-option — but maybe I’m not looking at the right place.