IDEA patent vs the recent USPTO memorandum

M.B.Jr. marcio.barbado at
Tue Sep 22 04:11:27 CEST 2009

I really appreciate the comments you've made on the subject and the
little debates as well.

That was exactly what I was expecting.

Sometimes, regular users do not have the proper notion of whether some
functionality merits attention.

All in all, it looks like IDEA, even if totally freed, is sentenced to
gradual abandonment. Is this perception of mine correct?


On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 4:48 PM, David Shaw <dshaw at> wrote:
> On Sep 21, 2009, at 2:30 PM, Johan Wevers wrote:
>> David Shaw wrote:
>>> If the "some people" still want this, I haven't seen it in a good long
>>> while.  Possibly they gave up asking.
>> Probably. However, if someone wants IDEA support for whatever reason there
>> is still the IDEA plugin. It still works with GnuPG 1.4.10 for both Linux
>> and Windows, although I have not tested it with the 2.0 versions.
> There is IDEA support (as this is part of OpenPGP, albeit with patent
> issues), but no V3 key generation support.
>>> To say nothing of the fact that compliant OpenPGP implementations are
>>> explicitly banned from generating RFC-1991 keys.
>> Why is that? Forced upgrading?
> I recall it was not so much forced upgrading, as a general feeling of
> "enough already".  If you take a look at the ietf-openpgp archives for
> 2003-2004, you'll see a few discussions around it.  Mind you, the statistics
> we played with at the time (4-5 years ago) showed that over 90% of keys on
> the keyservers were V4.  I doubt that number has gone anywhere but up since
> then.
> Another way to look at it is that the new wording around V3 keys (including
> the no-generate rule) enables someone to write an OpenPGP implementation
> that has no V3 support whatsoever (something which wasn't doable in
> RFC-2440).
> David
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Marcio Barbado, Jr.

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