IDEA patent vs the recent USPTO memorandum

David Shaw dshaw at
Wed Sep 16 22:07:56 CEST 2009

On Sep 16, 2009, at 1:56 PM, M.B.Jr. wrote:

> Hi list,
> I've recently had access to this document, written by the "United
> States Patent and Trademark Office" (USPTO) which basically tries to
> ban software patents.
> The memorandum is here:
> the case is,
> I'm really interested in reading your opinions of what this could mean
> to optional OpenPGP ciphers like IDEA.

Whether this means IDEA is okay or not patent-wise, I have a slightly  
different take on this: who cares about IDEA at this point?  IDEA was  
good back in the 90s and PGP 2.x.  It's 2009 now, and we have better  
ciphers than IDEA, a massive installed software base that doesn't use  
IDEA, and nobody is suffering for the lack of IDEA.  If IDEA was  
suddenly not patented, none of this would change.


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