Re: Last Call on draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt ("Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology")

Alissa Cooper <> Thu, 31 March 2016 22:38 UTC

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Subject: Re: Last Call on draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt ("Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology")
From: Alissa Cooper <>
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Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:38:57 -0700
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To: Jari Arkko <>
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Thanks to those who have been working on this. I have some mostly minor comments below. Some of the comments below relate to text that hasn't changed from RFC 3979. But it seems that the changes being suggested in the document are substantial anyway, so I've included comments on both old and new text.

= General =

1) I agree with other commenters' concerns about the definition of "participating" with respect to WG chairs and ADs. In particular in the context of section 6, this seems like it could limit the pool of people who can stand for AD roles, because you're not allowed to participate in cases where you won't be able to disclose, but you have no idea a priori what WGs will get chartered in your area and what work items they might take up.

2) I find it quite awkward that the document sometimes uses "IPR" as a singular noun yet expands the acronym to be intellectual property rights (plural). E.g., there are multiple instances of the phrase "IPR is." Would suggest an edit pass to clean that up.  

= Sec 3.3 =

The title of this section indicates that it is about Participants. Then the two bullets refer to "The Contributor." This is confusing. Maybe the title should be Obligations on Participants and Contributors and the text should refer to Contributors (plural) or "Each Contributor" to match "each Participant."

= Sec 5.1 =

I would suggest merging the text in 5.2.1 into 5.1.1 and merging the text in 5.2.2 into 5.1.2.

= Sec 5.1.3 =

If any person has information about IPR that may Cover a written
   Contribution, but such person is not required to disclose such IPR
   because it does not meet the criteria in Section 6.6 (e.g., the IPR
   is not owned or controlled by the person or his or her employer or
   sponsor, or such person is not an IETF Participant),
There is no Section 6.6.

= Sec 5.2.2 =

"Participants who realize that IPR meeting the conditions of Section
   5.6 will be or has been incorporated into a Contribution, or is
   seriously being discussed in a working group, are strongly encouraged
   to make a preliminary IPR disclosure."

What does it mean for IPR to be incorporated into a Contribution? I feel like since the document defines "Covers," this requirement should use the defined word.

Similarly, this text seems to imply that IPR would be "in" a Contribution rather than Covered by it:

"If an IETF Participant first learns of IPR that meets the conditions
   of Section 5.6 in a Contribution by another party, for example a new
   patent application or the discovery of a relevant patent in a patent
   portfolio, after the Contribution was made …"


> On Mar 22, 2016, at 5:17 AM, Jari Arkko <> wrote:
> All,
> RFC 3979 was published in 2005. Since then we’ve gathered a lot of experience, and we’d like to update the RFC with that experience. This isn’t a revolution of the IETF IPR approach, it is mostly about clarification, better documentation, and recognising some other new RFCs and changes. But the document itself has changed quite a lot and structured differently than RFC 3979 was.
> Some of the main issues (such as how to define participation) were discussed in the IETF-87 meeting, but there are also a number of other changes in this document. Please give this document a careful read, and let us know your feedback.
> I am starting a last call on this document today, but gave a longer last call period to make sure everyone has enough time to comment after IETF-95 as well. And thanks for the comments that some of you have already sent after the document was published; we’ve observed them and will make them part of the feedback from the Last Call.
> The document is available here:
> Jari Arkko (as the responsible AD for this document)