[Fedora-legal-list] Patents on Elliptic Curve Cryptography

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Thu Jun 2 18:23:45 UTC 2011

Apologies if this has been already discussed before, I couldn't find any
reference in the archives.

The version of OpenSSL shipped by Fedora comes with the ECDSA and ECDH
algorithms stripped from the source code. Ubuntu and Debian instead are
shipping ECC-enabled versions of OpenSSL.

I did some research and found that ECC *might* be covered by a number of
patents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECC_patents

I was told that the last patent supposedly covering ECC will expire in
2012, but I can't find a reliable source confirming this. Additionally,
D. J. Bernstein thinks that ECDSA and ECDH can be *already* implemented
without infringing: http://cr.yp.to/ecdh/patents.html

As usual in these cases, there's a lot of uncertainty around the ECC
patents and few people are willing to publicly discuss the problem. Can
anyone help shred some light?

 _ // Bernie Innocenti
 \X/  http://codewiz.org

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