US patent 5473599

Donald Eastlake d3e3e3 at
Wed Apr 23 19:45:35 UTC 2014


See below

On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM, Henning Brauer <hb-nanog at> wrote:
> * Paul WALL <pauldotwall at> [2014-04-22 19:30]:
>> Both CARP and VRRP use virtual router MAC addresses that start with
>> 00:00:5e.  This organizational unique identifier (OUI) is assigned to
>> IANA, not OpenBSD or a related project.  The CARP authors could have
>> gotten their own from IEEE.  OUIs are not free but the cost is quite
>> reasonable (and was even more reasonable years ago when this
>> unfortunate decision was made).
> we're an open source project, running on a rather small budget almost
> exclusively from donations, so "quite reasonable" doesn't cut it.

While it is at the discretion of the IEEE Registration Authority,
generally the IEEE RA will grant code point for standards use without
any fee. While this is not all that clear from their web site,, except for standards use
group (multicast) MAC addresses which are only for standards use and
for which there is no charge, it is their policy.

>> The next two octets for IPv4 VRRP are 00:01.  Highly coincidentally,
>> the CARP folks *also* decided to use 00:01 after they got upset at the
>> IETF for dissing their slide deck.
> you're interpreting way too much in here.
> carp has been based on an earlier, never published vrrp implementatoin
> we had before realizing the patent problem.
> i don't remember any discussion about the OUI or, more general, the mac
> address choice. it's 10 years ago now, so i don't remember every
> single detail, changing the mac addr has pbly just been forgotten.
> not at least using sth but 00:01 for the 4th and 5th octet was likely
> a mistake. changing that now - wether just 4th/5th octet or to an
> entirely different, donated OUI - wouldn't be easy, unfortunately.
> acadmic discussion as long as we don't have a suitable OUI anyway.
>> If either of these decisions had not been made, we would not be having
>> this discussion today.
> we weren't really given a choice.
> as I said before, I'd much prefer we had just been given a multicast
> address etc. we tried. the IEEE/IETF/IANA processes have been an utter
> failure in our (limited) experience, not just in this case. might be
> different if you're $big_vendor with deep pockets, but that doesn't
> help either.

That seems like a very scatter-shot claim. The process for applying
for MAC addresses under the IANA OUI was regularized in RFC 5342,
since updated to and replaced by RFC 7042. See Perhaps you were trying
before RFC 5342?

To get an assignment under IANA it must bet or standard use that is
either an IETF standard or related to an IETF standard but it doesn't
say what the relationship has to be. It must also be documented in an
Internet Draft or an RFC but there is no technical screening for
posting an Internet Draft so that doesn't seem like a barrier. It is
subject to expert review.

 Donald E. Eastlake 3rd   +1-508-333-2270 (cell)
 155 Beaver Street, Milford, MA 01757 USA
 d3e3e3 at

>> ...
> ...
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