How broad is the SPEKE patent.

James A. Donald jamesd at
Thu Nov 10 13:28:48 PST 2005

From:           	Charlie Kaufman
> The right question is whether there is any strong 
> password protocol - either known or that you invent 
> yourself - that you can implement without fear of 
> being sued for patent infringement.
> And the answer is no.

One cannot scratch one's bum without fear of being sued 
for patent infringment.  The wheel, and a common story
line in novels, were recently patented.Why should strong
passwrod protocols be different?

> Patent claims, like the U.S. Constitution, mean 
> whatever the courts decide they mean. The only way to 
> have confidence that you won't be sued for 
> implementing any technology is to observe that lots of 
> other people in similar situations to yours are doing 
> it and not being sued.

But in practice, patent claims are seldom resolved in 

> I am not aware of anyone who is publicly shipping - 
> either in a commercial product or as open source - an 
> implementation of a strong password protocol without 
> having paid protection money to either Lucent or 
> Phoenix (or both). It would be great if someone would.

It seems to me that this is more a matter of normal 
deployment delays, than widespread fear of patents.

With early deployments, it is far from clear whether 
those paying are paying for patent  licenses, or paying 
for sofware and expertise.

Over time, in any given software technology, the cost of 
software and expertise tends to fall, eventually to near 
zero.  At that point, it then becomes apparent how 
seriously people take any patent claims. 

         James A. Donald

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