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Intellectual Property Rights (ipr)

Last Modified: 2008-08-21

Additional information is available at tools.ietf.org/wg/ipr


  • Harald Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no>

General Area Director(s):

  • Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>

General Area Advisor:

  • Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion: ipr-wg@ietf.org
To Subscribe: ipr-wg-request@ietf.org
Archive: www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ipr-wg/index.html

Description of Working Group:

The IETF and the Internet have greatly benefited from the free
exchange of ideas and technology. For many years the IETF normal
behavior was to standardize only unencumbered technology.
While the "Tao" of the IETF is still strongly oriented toward
unencumbered technology, we can and do make use of technology that has
various encumbrances.
One of the goals of the IETF IPR policy has been to make it easier
for the IETF to make use of encumbered technology when it made
sense to do so.

This group has attempted to clarify and update that IPR policy,
resulting in RFC 3978, RFC 3979 and RFC 3905. The WG has also
discussed the possibility of changing the IETF's patent policy, but
did not detect a consensus for doing so.

At the time of this recharter (February 2006), there are two
remaining items of work for the WG:

- An issue with the production of derivative works has led to the
realization that RFC 2026 and RFC 3978 do not specify exactly the
same policy on this matter, and that neither policy, when read
literally, may be optimal for the IETF's purpose,
in accordance with its mission statement (RFC 3935), its policy
of retaining change control of its own documents, and its desire
for its documents to be openly available and useful.

- The creation of the IETF Trust for managing the IETF IPR has led
to the question of how the Trustees should evaluate the
benefit of the IETF community as a whole and if necessary the
consensus of the IETF on a given matter. Specifically the question
arises whether the previous discussions of the IPR WG have led to
experience that should be codified for the guidance of the Trustees.

The WG will produce 3 documents:

- An update to RFC 3978 (BCP) that attempts to specify a complete set
of rights with respect to derivative works granted to the IETF by
authors, as well as technical updates necessitated by the existence
of the Trust
- A document (info) giving advice to the IETF Trust on what rights in
IETF contributions it should attempt to grant to the public in order
to retain change control while allowing open access, resolving the
discrepancy between RFC 2026 and RFC 3978
- A document (info) giving other advice to the IETF Trust on IPR
handling, based on the IPR WG's experience of discussions in the area

The last document may include advice to the IETF Trust on
mechanisms for consulting with the community on IPR issues once the
IPR WG has closed, if consensus on such advice can be found.

The IPR WG may decide to drop the last document from its charter if
it decides that it has nothing to say.

All documents should have an IETF-wide Last Call before being approved.

Goals and Milestones:

Done    1st draft of updated IPR BCP document on documents - documenting existing practice
Done    1st draft of updated IPR BCP document on technology - documenting existing practice
Done    1st draft of IPR guidance document
Done    2nd draft of updated IPR BCP document on documents
Done    List of issues that need to be discussed while revising the documents
Done    2nd draft of updated IPR BCP document on technology
Done    2nd draft of IPR guidance document
Done    IPR BCP document on documents sent to IETF Last Call
Done    IPR BCP document on technology sent to IETF Last Call
Done    IPR guidance document submitted to IESG for publication
Done    1st draft of RFC 3978 update
Feb 2006    1st draft of granted rights advice doc
Feb 2006    1st draft of IPR advice doc
Mar 2006    RFC 3978 update to IESG for approval
Apr 2006    Granted rights advice to IESG for approval
Aug 2006    IPR advice to IESG for approval
Oct 2006    Once documents are all published, close WG

No Current Internet-Drafts

Request For Comments:

Guidelines for Working Groups on Intellectual Property Issues (RFC 3669) (40946 bytes)
Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology (RFC 3668) (41365 bytes) obsoleted by RFC 3979
IETF Rights in Contributions (RFC 3667) (43297 bytes) obsoleted by RFC 3978
A Template for IETF Patent Disclosures and Licensing Declarations (RFC 3905) (16110 bytes)
IETF Rights in Contributions (RFC 3978) (43574 bytes) obsoletes RFC 3667/ obsoleted by RFC 5378/ updates RFC 2026
RFC 3978 Update to recognize the IETF Trust (RFC 4748) (7284 bytes) obsoleted by RFC 5378
Clarification of the 3rd Party Disclosure procedure in RFC 3979 (RFC 4879) (5570 bytes)
Advice to the Trustees of the IETF Trust on Rights to Be Granted in IETF Documents (RFC 5377) (17843 bytes)
Rights Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust (RFC 5378) (37980 bytes) obsoletes RFC 3978,RFC 4748/ updates RFC 2026

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