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Re: RC4 compatibility testing

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: RC4 compatibility testing 
>> "Perry E. Metzger" <[email protected]> writes:
>> I'm not familiar with this term, "submarine" patent application.  But
>> don't they have one year from the date of first publication to apply for
>> a patent?  It seems that this could count as first publication, so they
>> would have one year from now to get their patent application in.  As I
>> said before, the NSA has indicated similar plans if Clipper is ever
>> reverse engineered.
>> Hal

A "submarine" patent is one that was filed long ago, but kept from being
issued by various ploys.  Because the patent exists for 17 years from date
of being granted, there is an incentive to delay the granting of the patent.
Of course, patenting the invention makes it public too, which you might
want to avoid, especially if you'd like to have a world-wide market on
a cryptographic product.  Like RC4, for example.  Once it is patented in
this country, anybody from the rest of the world could copy it.
Once you find somebody you'd like to go after, you can speed up the process.

The patent process runs pretty slow on its own, but you can slow it down
further still by delaying correspondence with the patent office, by not
paying fees quickly.  I think that there is one final fee that must be paid
after the patent is approved, but before it is granted, that you can just
hold off on for a long time.

Thad Beier  Pacific Data Images  408)745-6755  [email protected]