Ali, Saqib wrote:
> Quoting the Foxbusiness article:
> 
> Permanent Privacy (patent pending) has been verified by Peter
> Schweitzer, one of Harvard's top cryptanalysts, and for the inevitable
> cynics Permanent Privacy is offering $1,000,000 to anyone who can
> decipher a sample of ciphertext."

I did a quick check to look for patent applications or patents by them and
didn't find any.  This isn't definitive if a patent application isn't
published.  The newest published patent application I found on encryption
had an application date of 11 Dec 2007.  Some recently published patent
applications are 6 or 7 years old, too.

While there I updated my periodic search for recent patents and applications
on cryptography.  It's surprising the number of questionable patent
applications and patents you can find.  Aside from propping up marketing
claims with patents as has been done throughout history, the primary threat
poor quality patents present is the ability of patent trolls to tax
'innovation'.  The volume of crypto related patents and applications is
increasing lately and there is no clear sign the quality is rising.  Crypto
patents used to be primarily a competition method between defense
contractors, now its just about everyone as use expands.

There was one recent application from a chip company on an architecture and
instruction set for implementing the Advanced Encryption Standard , where
the architecture is that of a modern processor and the instruction set isn't
covered in the claims, rather a description of the algorithm for executing
AES is given.  While it would be well suited for a defensive patent
portfolio, imagine the havoc if granted and this patent were to fall into
the hands of a patent troll claiming it covered all implementations on a
processor.

Being a bit of a hardware wonk, a lot of these patents appear obvious.  For
instance Rainbow inherited a patent on the use of dual rank shift registers
to allow overlapping data I/O and cryptographic operations.  It does perform
the useful function of bringing down the clock rate needed to sustain some
throughput, but it was hardly a non-obvious innovation at the time it was
filed.  Rate buffers had been used as long before the patent was filed to
balance communications throughput.  I also recall one on MIMD execution of
DES to increase throughput, hardly non-obvious though granted.

Obviously patents could be improved by searching further across disciplines
for prior art and by having more USPTO expertise.  We're also seeing a
dumbing down of the 'Persons Having Ordinary Skill In the Art' as the number
of practitioners expand rapidly.

Has anyone been feeling the heat or see a future threat?

---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Reply via email to