Patents, IETF and Network Operators

Shane Ronan sronan at
Thu Jan 21 17:32:44 UTC 2010

The real question is why Patent something?

The reality is even if you patent any idea/feature, other vendors will  
come out with a similar (although not patent infringing) version of  
the same idea/feature. While you might get a short term jump on other  
vendors, if the idea is really good, everyone else will catch up  
quickly. Further, customers REALLY like inter-op, I know for one I  
don't use protocols from vendors that aren't "standard"

On Jan 21, 2010, at 10:35 AM, Abhishek Verma wrote:

> Hi,
> Network Ops folks use the IETF standards for their operations. I see
> lot of nifty things coming out from the IETF stable and i was
> wondering why those dont get patented? Why bother releasing some
> really good idea to IETF (i.e. open standards bodies) when the vendor
> could have patented it. The network operators can still use it as long
> as they are using that vendor's equipment. I understand that interop
> can be an issue, since it will be a patented technology, but it will
> always work between the boxes from the same vendor. If so, then whats
> the issue?
> Is interop the only issue because of which most ideas get released
> into IETF? I guess interop is *an* issue since nobody wants a single
> vendor network.
> Thanks,
> Abhishek

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