IDEA patent vs the recent USPTO memorandum

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Wed Sep 16 22:15:23 CEST 2009

David Shaw wrote:
> 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.

Some people use remailers and other tools which depend on PGP
2.6/RFC1991 traffic.  There are some people who would very much like to
see GnuPG fully support RFC1991 so it can replace the very long in the
tooth PGP 2.6.

Admittedly, I think the correct response is to say, "GnuPG /did/ replace
PGP 2.6, the same way RFC4880 replaced RFC1991, now come into the 21st
century with the rest of us."  But many of the die-hard PGP 2.6
advocates resist changing.

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