IDEA patent vs the recent USPTO memorandum

David Shaw dshaw at
Tue Sep 22 06:05:29 CEST 2009

On Sep 21, 2009, at 10:11 PM, M.B.Jr. wrote:

> Gentlemen,
> 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?

In my opinion, yes.  These days, you'd need a good reason to use IDEA  
rather than AES, CAST5, or even 3DES.  When you add in the fact that  
IDEA actually costs money (heresy!) and nearly every competitor is  
free, it becomes a fairly easy calculation to make.

In the context of OpenPGP, the gradual abandonment has already  
happened.  The usage today is non-zero, but negligible.  The only  
reason the IDEA discussion comes up here (usually once or twice a  
year) is that PGP 2.x used it back in the 1990s.


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