Re: [ssm] wg last call for draft-ietf-ssm-arch-03 complete

"Marshall Eubanks" <> Fri, 17 October 2003 14:24 UTC

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From: Marshall Eubanks <>
Subject: Re: [ssm] wg last call for draft-ietf-ssm-arch-03 complete
To: Pekka Savola <>, Lorenzo Vicisano <>
Cc: Hugh Holbrook <>,,
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Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 10:23:38 -0400
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:00:18 +0300 (EEST)
 Pekka Savola <> wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Oct 2003, Lorenzo Vicisano wrote:
> > "SSM is an important piece of technology, hence we should advance it.
> > But before doing so we need to make sure that either the patent-holder
> > changes its policy OR that SSM doesn't infringe the patent in question".
> > 
> > The second option above doesn't seem realistic: our evaluation on
> > whether the patent applies or not has little relevance if the
> > the patent holder is prepared to legally defend his position.
> > In fact the legal process or the threath of it are damaging even
> > if the patent-holder turns out to be wrong after all.
> The point is that if the folks get enough sure that it does not infringe,
> these threats could be seen to be "obviously" inflated and therefore
> non-threatening.
> Unless that kind of "warm feeling" is there, obviously you aren't sure 
> enough.

Dear Pekka;

Nothing is secure, especially in IP (the other, legal, kind). 
If a company claims infringement,
even on totally bogus grounds, and takes you to court, you had
better have at least one million $ US cash reserve to claim and prove
your innocence.

The real protection is, will a company with a big patent pool (say, Microsoft
or Cisco or Nokia or ...) implement SSM ? If so, and if they are sued, then
they will countersue, as Apple undoubtedly has patents and products that
could be claimed to infringe on some of their patents. (Look at SCO and Linux.)
This would deter a big company from doing such a thing.

I think that the Internet is based much more on Mutually Assured Destruction
than warm and fuzzy feelings, and would vote (hum) to proceed unless there is
something else brought to the surface.

Marshall Eubanks

> > The 1st option seems to be utopian too: last time I checked most of
> > the IPR statements in the directory looked like this one.. why should Apple
> > go for a RF licensing ? Qouting draft-ietf-ipr-wg-guidelines-05.txt:
> > 
> >    o  IPR claimants, even when their intentions are good, may strongly
> >       resist being forced to make specific public statements about
> >       licensing terms.  If explicit statements of licensing terms are
> >       required, then the publicly stated terms will probably be
> >       "worst-case", which would provide little useful information.
> Perhaps Apple might have some vested interest in seeing SSM, as a 
> technology, succeed?   Perhaps folks at Apple might realize that the 
> claims don't really cover this case, and to maintain a reputation of a 
> sort would give guarantees of RF for this specific case?
> > The practical message that I got from
> > draft-ietf-ipr-wg-guidelines-05.txt is that we should try to find out
> > what Apple's intentions are AND see if we can obtain a more precise
> > IPR statement from the company. Not sure if the WG has attempted this
> > before..
> .. this has probably been tried, but if that fails?
> > Finally, when we get to the point of making decision, my vote is:
> > advance unless we have reasons to worry about Apple's intentions.
> I would say the opposite: not advance.  We just can't build technology 
> like SSM would be on top of this fragile ground..
> -- 
> Pekka Savola                 "You each name yourselves king, yet the
> Netcore Oy                    kingdom bleeds."
> Systems. Networks. Security. -- George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings
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