[tor-dev] is ECC patented? (was: Draft sketch document with ideas for future crypto ops)

Watson Ladd watsonbladd at gmail.com
Wed Nov 2 01:45:07 UTC 2011

So I did some digging and Certicom claims nothing against RFC 6090.
They do claim 2 patents against the draft,
but I doubt either of them check out. One is on point validation by
substitution into a curve, the other on ECDSA for smart cards. If its
a big worry Tor should get a lawyer to check this out, but I'm not
that worried: Patents filled
in the 2000s seem a bit late to the party anyway.
Watson Ladd

On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM, Zooko O'Whielacronx <zooko at zooko.com> wrote:
> A few pointers. On the happy "yay we can use it freely" side, we have:
> * RFC 6090
> Pure gold! A catalog of ECC techniques which were published so long
> ago that they cannot still be under patent. It includes digital
> signatures and Diffie-Hellman.
> * DJB's page stating that certain patents don't apply to Curve25519
> (which you mentioned): http://cr.yp.to/ecdh/patents.html
> * Jack Lloyd's statement that he avoided techniques newer than about
> 1990 in Botan: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=615372#c19
> On the sad "no we can't use it" side, we have:
> * Fedora's insistence on removing all elliptic curve cryptography from
> their Linux distribution and refusing to answer questions about why:
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=615372
> Regards,
> Zooko
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