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Cisco Applies For Patents To Secured TCP

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the that's-friendly dept.

Patents 290

An anonymous reader writes "Following the recent excitement over a potential vulnerability in TCP, Cisco's "Worldwide Patent Counsel", Robert Barr, has let it be known that they have pending patent applications for one or more of the IETF recommendations for improving TCP's security. KernelTrap has the full details."

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not more patents (2, Redundant)

ncurses (764489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123043)

don't we have enough patents as it is?

that's bad (-1, Redundant)

cyril3 (522783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123046)

isn't it?

Re:that's bad (0, Troll)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123089)

Well Microsoft's Trusted Computing is bad. I'm not sure how "evil" Cisco is. But then again, they are a large company that makes lots of money so there's got to be something sinister about that. Maybe their name should be Ci$co, or even ciSCO.

Re:that's bad (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123137)

How can something be "redundant" if it doesn't repeate the story or a previous post? Slashmods are stroking their tiny cocks again.

Re:that's bad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123507)

The mods are busy posing on their cars [germantourist.com] .

if tcp is copyrighted (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123051)

and you use it illegally, you're in trouble.

only the criminals will have network connections

Re:if tcp is copyrighted (4, Funny)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123227)

So in the future a criminal could use a pirated wireless connection, using a pirated connection protocol to download pirated music and movies? Neat!

On the plus side, the (MP|RI)AA would be just as illegal in hunting you down... maybe I should take up P2P trading.

Re:if tcp is copyrighted (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123342)

Err with all the money the RIAA get from your grandma and your kid, they have more than enough money to license any such patented technology.

Re:if tcp is copyrighted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123384)

and que in russia joke...

Well... (5, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123056)

They better hope their applications are dated before the recommendations.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123298)

Not necessarily. I believe you have a year to make the application after it becomes public. However, they better have some strong records to back up the claims that they made the invention at an earlier date.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123317)

However, they better have some strong records to back up the claims that they made the invention at an earlier date.

Well, assuming they did write the application, and no one else tries patenting said invention(s), they don't really need to prove much. Like you said, there's one year time period after publicizing system that implements invention during which one can file patent application. But it should go without saying one can not build the system before making the invention; there's nothing to prove there.

kewl first post ... FUCK ALL OF YOU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123058)

(x+1) post losers !! hahahaha

Oh goody. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123059)

Do you think they'll patent the backdoor they're planning on putting in it? I'd hate to have to reverse engineer that.

I used to be very pro-cisco, but with the recent "Self protecting networks" ads that are misleading at best, and the backdoor snafu, I don't see how I could reccomend to anyone that they're worth the cost.

Re:Oh goody. (5, Insightful)

ncurses (764489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123068)

I can't stand those ads either. It is not possible to defend against humans from the inside. That's liek trying to build a car that is intentionally-driving-over-a-cliff proof.

It's all about the phbs (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123163)

Phb: "Oh, SELF PROTECTING NETWORK! Oooo! We need one of those!"

Such crap. It's like those blatantly false microsoft ads where they show microsoft office as a wonderful beautiful thing. I've worked with office for years, and the only time I danced through my office with a newly printed office document involved a printer incompatibility, a long project, and way too much coffee.

Show me an ad that says, "Hey this works okay most of the time," or "this router can detect and contain unusual network activity, so viri spread slower" and that's a product that I can trust. Promising pie in the sky only works for idiots.

Re:It's all about the phbs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123198)

I'd rather hug a tree than take it in the ass from a power company.

I'd rather burn a tree and make the power myself.

Re:It's all about the phbs (5, Insightful)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123253)

Show me an ad that says, "Hey this works okay most of the time," or "this router can detect and contain unusual network activity, so viri spread slower" and that's a product that I can trust. Promising pie in the sky only works for idiots.

It's been my experience that the idiots are the ones making the purchasing decisions, hence the nature of the advertising.

Re:It's all about the phbs (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123289)

I agree completely, thus the "Pointy-Haired Boss" reference.

My mother is just like this. I can tell her something over and over and over again, and it means nothing to her. But if she hears the same thing from a random, poorly-informed stranger, it's a proven fact.

It's sad that they know enough to hire skilled people, and then choose to listen to simplistic (though slick) advertising instead.

Re:It's all about the phbs (4, Funny)

Geek of Tech (678002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123598)

>> My mother is just like this. I can tell her something over and over and over again, and it means nothing to her. But if she hears the same thing from a random, poorly-informed stranger, it's a proven fact.

Now you know how she felt when you were growing up.

:)

Re:It's all about the phbs (3, Interesting)

ryanmfw (774163) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123254)

The DARPA is actually working on something like this. It's supposed to automatically identify a virus or worm within seconds and with no human intervention. It's then supposed to disconnect the entire network from the segment that that virus was discovered on. Sorry I don't have the link.

Re:It's all about the phbs (0, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123302)

Amusing link: skynet systems [skynetsystems.com] . But I think this [sfgoth.com] is the page you're looking for.

Re:It's all about the phbs (3, Funny)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123511)

It also detects when you try to use the CD-ROM tray as a drink holder and automatically logs you out and contacts your local BOfH.

Re:It's all about the phbs (2, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123551)

It also detects when you try to use the CD-ROM tray as a drink holder and automatically logs you out and contacts your local BOfH.

...after first retracting the tray, thus spilling your drink.

Re:It's all about the phbs (4, Insightful)

nuonguy (264254) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123362)

The point is that it works! Not because people are idiots, but because they're muggles. They don't get it. To them, the act of sending email might as well be magic for all the understanding they might have, so promising them something that's technically infeasible is worthwhile and profitable. If it's presented well, if it uses cultural memes that are accepted and understood by the target audience, if it tells them something they want to hear, it'll work.

Re:It's all about the phbs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123369)

Promising pie in the sky only works for idiots.

And who do you think has final say on these kind of purchases.

Re:It's all about the phbs (1)

bstone (145356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123526)

I love the promises of advertising.

Back in the 70's, there was a company advertising a product that could "Stop Computer Downtime". The product turned out to be under floor water detectors.

Re:It's all about the phbs (5, Insightful)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123597)

Show me an ad that says, "Hey this works okay most of the time," or "this router can detect and contain unusual network activity, so viri spread slower" and that's a product that I can trust.

That's not a product I would trust. Routers should do one thing, and that's routing. Firewalls should be the devices that implement policies, not routers.

It's the same premise as buggy, hole-ridden software. A good 30% of 'features' in software don't need to be there, but they are, and they introduce problems. Take Norton Systemworks (2002) ... while it's scanning the disk, you can have it animate the logo and/or play some music. Why does that need to be there? It doesn't ...

The same goes for Cisco ... the hardware isn't spectacular, but they make up for it in software. They add feature upon feature upon feature, which leads to the code getting overly complex, which leads to bugs. You then get vulnerabilities like the one for LEAP, or now this TCP reset business, when they (the bugs) likely wouldn't exist if the routers just did routing and the engineers focused on that.

Re:Oh goody. (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123474)

In order to build a car that is intentionally-driving-over-a-cliff-proof you would have to take control away from the driver in many situations, at least to some degree. It would in some ways make the car more dangerous but I think using a combination of GPS, GIS (for terrain with height values), ABS, drive-by-wire throttle, and electric power steering, you could probably pull it off.

Similarly, it is possible to protect entirely against some types of attacks and reduce the damage of others, even when the attacks are being launched from the inside, by treating all networks as foreign to one another, and not making any exceptions. This may make the network less useful in many ways, but many organizations are doing just this.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

jonfelder (669529) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123093)

Yeah those ads are annoying...not as annoying as the Oracle unbreakable ones though.

Re:Oh goody. (2, Informative)

cuban321 (644777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123118)

If you look at their Host based IDS solution it's pretty impressive. It prevents users from doing incredibly stupid things on their workstations and reports back to a central server.

Sure. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123218)

I'm sure it's pretty cool. Most of their stuff is.

But I bet users are still going to be doing stupid things. You can't beat stupidity, and by claiming that, in fact, they have, they lose my vote big time.

Cisco products may have a place in a comprehensive security solution, but they're trying to claim they ARE a comprehensive security solution, and they're not.

Before anyone spouts off at the mouth (1, Insightful)

tacobot (631505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123069)

Let's keep in mind that patents are in place to protect the innovators and keep them innovating. Yes, it sucks that maybe other vendors can't use this for a while, but that's the price of progress.

Re:Before anyone spouts off at the mouth (5, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123213)

Bollocks. They are there to protect investors not innovators. They are there to maintain a monopoly for a limited time, and come from an age that moved far slower than ours does. They are regularly abused, and they hamper progress more often than they promote it. Go ask anyone with a technical or science perspective rather than a business perspective.

I don't understand (0)

tacobot (631505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123293)

Why should I ask someone without a business perspective what's good for business? Wouldn't this be like asking someone without a technical perspective what's good for technology?

Re:I don't understand (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123366)

They were introduced to help innovation but changed to help the bottom line somewhere. Thats why you should ask the innovators, not the bottom liners -- if thats a word, which its not.

Re:I don't understand (4, Insightful)

Flower (31351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123568)

Patents were put in place for the good of society. I have just as much right to have an opinion on them as any CEO or lawyer.

After talking to the likes of Radia Perlman (who is extremely cool fwiw) I have extreme reservations that business model aka software patents do any good for society at all. I wonder where the state of networking would be now if spanning-tree had been patented and we had to wait 17 years before anybody was willing to implement it. I wonder where we could be if a mind like Ms. Perlman's could work on certain areas which really interest her (PKI for one iirc) except it isn't worth walking through a minefield of worthless patents. If HTTP had been patented do we you think we'd be using it or would we be using Gopher? Huh. Cisco has patents related to VRRP so the OpenBSD team develops an alternative and improves on the concept by adding in cryptography and increasing reliability.

And just remember this. For all the success stories you talk about - if it harms society, if it inhibits the arts and sciences - what the government gives it can taketh away. The Wright brothers didn't get to keep their patents.

Re:I don't understand (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123575)

because the argument is, "patents are good for technological progess" which is not true, they are only good for business.

NOTE, some business plans/projects WONT go ahead if there is NO patent on the product, therefore, no patent = no business = no product = no progress.

I thought patents are meant to PROMOTE progress, but sometimes not all progress requires a patent so they get ignored.

So in this case, patents prevent progress.

OT, business perspectives arent so hard to learn as technical sciences. Basically its all supply/damand vs resources/profit. Thats it, if you can build it, and theres demand, and you can calculate a profit from it then thats all you need, Oh and good "contacts" business partnerships to make it happen.

Here is were opensource fills the gap, making things that dont need a profit, but benefit people.

Re:Before anyone spouts off at the mouth (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123428)

come from an age that moved far slower than ours does

Exactly!!! It took so much time and money to come up with some of the major advances in yester-years that they needed the patent restriction timing to help get back some of the cost they stuck into R&D.

They are there to protect investors not innovators.

Well, no shit. But don't forget, if there were not investors, how would the innovators keep innovating with no money to back them. The fact is patents allow for investors to make back the money they invested. However, technology is currently moving so fast that the patent system definitely needs an overhaul.

WRONG! (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123230)

Patents are now only for use as a tool for extortion for companies that have no business model, heading towards bankruptcy, or want a monopoly of their respective field of business.

That's simply not true (0, Troll)

tacobot (631505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123256)

Read these patent success stories [btgplc.com] . None of these innovations were perpetrated by a monopoly, nor by a company without a business model. In fact they are all authored by a succesful, innovative business.

I have a suspicion that many people who are angry at our established patent system do not have a strong background in either law or business.

Re:That's simply not true (2, Insightful)

BigBadBri (595126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123397)

"None of these innovations were perpetrated by a monopoly..."

Yes they were - the NRDC (later to become BTG) had a monopoly on the exploitation of publically funded research from its inception.

Patenting things (hovercraft, interferon, CVT, etc.) is entirely different from patenting processes/software - the first can be justified, the second is a can of worms best left unopened.

I think you're trolling, anyway.

They're a private company! (1)

tacobot (631505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123466)

They sued the Pentagon and won! If ever there was an example of the patent system fending off an agressor, that is it.

Re:That's simply not true (1)

Wolfbone (668810) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123451)

Okay I've read them. Now tell me which one is the software patent? Which one of them is utterly trivial? Which one of them is a progress impeding claim to ownership of a mathematical algorithm or scientific idea?

I have a suspicion that many people who talk about patents here do not have a strong background in computing or history or science or mathematics or the arts, copyright law and patent law or philosophy or indeed any discipline whatsoever that might enable them to think rationally and logically long enough to see the evident folly of software patents.

Re:Before anyone spouts off at the mouth (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123283)

Because we all know that we would all be pulling ox carts screaming "Bring out your dead!" if we didn't have patents...right??? Sorry, man - It's because of patents that we are still traveling around in sub-sonic jalopies, running on KEROSENE no less.

Translation: (1)

CatGrep (707480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123360)

Let's keep in mind that patents are in place to protect the innovators and keep them innovating. Yes, it sucks that maybe other vendors can't use this for a while, but that's the price of progress.

Let's translate this:

Let's keep in mind that patents are in place to keep lawyers employed and keep them litigating. Yes, it sucks that maybe other vendors (or open source developers) can't use this obvious idea for a while. (period) Impediments to progress are the price we just have to pay.

Re:Translation: (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123580)

>other vendors (or open source developers) can't use this obvious idea for a while

The OpenBSD guys claim they have had something better for a long time and have asked the IETF to use it instead. I wouldn't hold your breath though.

Actually... (5, Interesting)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123478)

I can and have thought up a number of ways to use our IP laws to discourage innovation.

For example, there's some stupid precident where something like 5 notes were supposedly "subconciously copied." I remember that, from the way they decided things, someone calculated that there were only 5,000 some odd different types of music that would be legally recognized under that precident.

Therefore, if you simply make a CD with each variation (and to comply with other wacky precidents and laws, make it a "dramatic" work--e.g. put some kind of story in there with your music, as well as mixing up the order so as to make your creation more creative than a mere listing of all the possible note combinations), and file a copyright on it.

Voila, you've copyrighted all the music. But you probably don't dare distribute any of it, lest you infringe on every pre-existing work, so you play SCO. Manage to get in the media with some wacky press release (Slashdot would be a good target), and spout off about how you intend to use this to stifle musical innovation "because it's clearly not profitable."

Ramble on a bit about how the industry knows what is best for us--"only unoriginal crap sells! so long as they're just rehashing their old works, we feel that they're not deriving anything from ours, and we simply want the music producers to make money, something you cannot do unless you force-feed the public unoriginal music." Thus you're never under obligation to actually sue anyone, though you can make a show of menacing anyone whose music might be original, telling them that it doesn't seem to derive enough from all their old records, so they must have stolen it from you...

Yes, I realize that this is incredibly contorted logic (I must have been reading too many SCO stories here...), but the upshot of it is that you would be using such a copyright registration to (at least attempt) to stifle innovation. ...

Now then, as for patents? It's harder to find an example of a bottleneck, as above, and these will cost you over $1,000 each in filing fees alone. Still, you seem to be able to patent the most rediculous things. You could always file some nonsense like "n-click shopping, for n greater than one" (note that you can make "shopping" into any other activity, though you might get hillarious results like "3-click bowling") or just "___ over the internet" ...

I can even imagine being bored enough to write an "absurd patent generator" in Perl, if I could just think of more such patterns to feed into it :] For irony's sake, one could then patent that nonsense generating algorithm (though proving it useful in commerce might be another hurdle... I wonder if they would buy the thought that putting it on a page with ads and making a grand total of $0.38 from the ads would be enough? :)

Of course, if you really did invent something wonderful, and you could patent up all the possible ways of using it (so that others couldn't just tweak it and get around your patent), you could always just publicize it and say that you have absolutely no intention of ever letting anyone use your invention until the patent expires. If it was software, you might then make it available via your website for *only* those people where your patent doesn't apply...

i'm starting to agree (4, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123075)

The US business model sucks.

Patenting a security feature in TCP? Cisco sucks. I won't use another one of their products again if I can possibly help it.

Unfortunately that's probably not going to happen. In fact, I have this CSS 11150 box that i'm going to have to configure. sigh.

When the choice is principles and employment, employment wins. I have child support to pay.

Re:i'm starting to agree (-1, Flamebait)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123120)

And you just explained what is wrong with America...

Re:i'm starting to agree (2, Insightful)

Jahf (21968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123209)

Oh yeah, the U.S. is the world's only capitalist market where employees have children and little choice in jobs due to a supressed economy?

I don't disagree with the problems IP laws in the U.S. as mentioned by the parent of your post, but your post is implying something different.

Re:i'm starting to agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123470)

not the only. just the leading example and the one doing the most to make sure developing countries turn out the exact same way.

Re:i'm starting to agree (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123179)

When the choice is principles and employment, employment wins. I have child support to pay.

And the its probably the reason you have child support to pay.

Re:i'm starting to agree (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123329)

It's called ethical bankruptcy. They learned it from SCO and MS, and recently SUN.

Re:i'm starting to agree (5, Interesting)

mo (2873) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123358)

well, if it makes you feel any better, we just made a purchasing decision against cisco in favor of two simple linux boxes running a combination of shorewall [shorewall.net] and heartbeat [linux-ha.org] . The cost savings versus the cheapest cisco firewall that does failover was worth the effort of installing the open source software. I also highly recommend m0n0wall [m0n0.ch] for a SOHO cisco replacement. I'd chose m0n0wall over a cheaper watchguard or sonicwall box any day.

Some IETF and patent background... (5, Insightful)

bingbong (115802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123084)

It was never the object of patent laws to grant a monopoly for every trifling device, every shadow of a shade of an idea, which would naturally and spontaneously occur to any skilled mechanic or operator in the ordinary progress of manufactures. Such an indiscriminate creation of exclusive privileges tends rather to obstruct than to stimulate invention. It creates a class of speculative schemers who make it their business to watch the advancing wave of improvement, and gather its foam in the form of patented monopolies, which enable them to lay a heavy tax on the industry of the country, without contributing anything to the real advancement of the arts. It embarrasses the honest pursuit of business with fears and apprehensions of unknown liability lawsuits and vexatious accounting for profits made in good faith. --

Historically, the IETF has been neutral about using patents in the Standards process, and its position is summed up best in the charter of the IPR Working Group (http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/ipr-charter.htm l [ietf.org] ):

The IETF and the Internet have greatly benefited from the free exchange of ideas and technology. For many years the IETF normal behavior was to standardize only unencumbered technology.
While the 'Tao' of the IETF is still strongly oriented toward unencumbered technology, we can and do make use of technology that has various encumbrances. One of the goals of RFC2026 'The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3' was to make it easier for the IETF to make use of encumbered technology when it made sense to do so.

Last year, there was an attempt to make the IETF change their policy, but it failed miserably (http://news.com.com/2100-1013-996351.html?tag=fd_ top [com.com] ).

So you can have more secure communications, but only if you pay Cisco.

Bastards.

Re:Some IETF and patent background... (1)

muonzoo (106581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123343)

I'm not sure where it says that you'll have to pay Cisco. The IPR statement that I read clearly states:

...any party will be able to obtain a license from Cisco to use any such patent claims under reasonable, non-discriminatory terms, with reciprocity, to implement and fully comply with the standard.

Admittedly, they might charge, but it doesn't say that they will. This is not new, and it might not even be news. Corporations have been doing this for a while. Look through the IETF IPR archives and you'll see plenty of places where standards work has either bumped up against or incorporated a firm's claimed-IPR.

Re:Some IETF and patent background... (5, Interesting)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123479)

So you can have more secure communications, but only if you pay Cisco.
Actually, according to the "full details" link, you can have more secure communications, but only if you pay attention to OpenBSD's recommendations (and ignore Cisco's patent-encumbered implementation which isn't as good).

This is the second time in six months OpenBSD has seriously one-upped Cisco and its patents. :-) They even wrote a song [openbsd.org] about the first!

This could set a REALLY bad precedent... (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123098)

...if it gets past the patent office (who here doubts that it will? I don't).

The reason is that this is basically a patch to a protocol. The TCP protocol itself was a novel invention. But most patches to protocols, or to code to fix a particular problem, are fairly obvious to someone skilled in the requisite arts. Generally, the nature of the bug is what determines the solution, and often the solution is obvious to someone who is familiar with the protocol (or code) and the problem in question.

If this gets through then you can expect a lot of patents to be filed on patches to many things, including open source projects. And that means that unless the code is protected by something like the GPL (which requires a patent license grant as a condition of redistribution), the projects (and those who maintain and use them) will be vulnerable to patent infringement suits.

This is going to get nasty. But I think most of us who have been keeping track of this nonsense already know that.

Re:This could set a REALLY bad precedent... (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123165)

Er, people are _already_ filing patents on patches. In fact, that's the backbone of the patent system - most patents filed are on small tweaks to existing mechanisms.

So don't adopt these as a standard (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123115)

Official standards should not include anything that is proprietary, as that gives someone a monopoly and shuts out open source solutions. Standards should be designed so that everyone can use them without having to pay royalties.

Re:So don't adopt these as a standard (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123316)

Not necessarily. Many standards are based on patentented technology. eg. SmartMedia includes FAT (Microsoft), various SAE/ISO specs include CAN(Bosch). What is bad though is if the patent is then used to leverage power in a bad way.

Re:So don't adopt these as a standard (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123411)

If technology in this document is included in a standard adopted by IETF and any claims of any Cisco patents are necessary for practicing the standard, any party will be able to obtain a license from Cisco to use any such patent claims under
reasonable, non-discriminatory terms, with reciprocity, to implement and fully comply with the standard.
I guess we'd have to trust them as to the meaning of reasonable or reciprocity eh? (Does reasonable mean "just don't fsck with us and we won't fsck with you" or is it "Give me the map and you might walk out of here on human limbs"?)

What is.... (2, Funny)

wpiman (739077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123130)

exitement?


Is that a cross between excitement and excrement?

Re:What is.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123228)

No silly, it was a ploy to make the spelling nazis feel welcome. Pleaase go about you spelling nazi crusade.

ohh look, i gave you some work to do.

Re:What is.... (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123439)

Capital N in Nazi please. We Nazis like to go by the book.

Seems they fixed the issues anyways.

It was an attempt at humor designed to make the anonymous cowards of the world come out of their shell. Either that or you can take some Procrit.

Limited use if proprietary (5, Insightful)

sacremon (244448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123162)

Unless Cisco licenses the technology and other companies bite, I don't see this getting very far on the Internet. Too much of the backbone is comprised of equipment from multiple vendors. I work for a large Tier 1 ISP. Most of the edge routers are Cisco, but the core routers are Juniper. Things get even messier in a Co-location data center, where customers can be using who knows what brand of equipment to connect to the data center's network.

Re:Limited use if proprietary (1)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123199)

I don't see this getting very far anytime in the near future anyway...

SSL, VPN, IPv6. They've all been around for a long time. Sure SSL is used quite a bit, but it's definitely not used the majority of the time. We've seen stats on the WiFi expos where you can pick off hundreds of POP passwords thanks to plaintext connections. It will be a long time (if ever) before this is even close to mainstream.

Re:Limited use if proprietary (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123561)

I think Cisco is in trouble here. Since this matter primarily for BGP, and is necessary to keep the internet infrastructure from being vulnerable to attack, and the internet is now considered vital infrastructure, I wouldn't be surprised if the FCC called up the PTO and told them to reject the application. Or, for that matter, if the NSA called up Cisco and told them to drop the application. Or the DHS could call up Cisco and ask about how they seem to be aiding cyberterrorism. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't Microsoft's idea to allow unlicensed copies of Windows to get security patches, either.

Ci...SCO ? (4, Insightful)

horatio (127595) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123169)

Bastards, patenting a public working group's suggestion for fixing the broken widget. Anyone else wonder if there is a conspiracy here? If this works for the network appliance giant, SCO might just have a case if they patent a few of the publically submitted kernel patches.

hmmmmm.... (3, Funny)

j3ll0 (777603) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123185)

CARS (RFC793 [1]) are widely deployed and one of the most often used reliable end to end protocols for PEOPLE TRANSPORTATION. Yet when it was defined over 20 years ago the ROAD SYSTEM, as we know it, was a different place lacking many of the threats that are now common. Recently several rather serious threats have been detailed that can pose new methods for both denial of service and possibly data injection by blind attackers. This document details those threats and also proposes some small changes to the way CARS handle inbound segments that either eliminate the threats or at least minimize them to a more acceptable level.

I don't know if I'm for it or against it now...

Robert Barr? (3, Funny)

jonman_d (465049) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123186)

You mean Robert Barr, the man from the Redundancy Van from the monopoly of Cizzzcoo-eeeee?

(If you don't get the joke, go check the openBSD website.)

Solution: (2, Interesting)

Sebby (238625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123196)

Read my last post [slashdot.org] .

Prices (1)

hoagieslapper (593527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123388)

My suggestion is to limit the number of patents a company can hold and/or apply for in a year. This forces them to keep only the truly inovative patents and discard the trival patents.

And in other news... (3, Funny)

TheMadPenguin (662390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123212)

NetBEUI becomes a routable protocol... :P

Re:And in other news... (1)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123240)

I'd rather use IPX - I think there is a version of it designed to be routable. I could be wrong - been a long time since I actually used it.

Re:And in other news... (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123309)

IPX is routable...IPX packets contain the same fields as IP packets (network ID and host ID, similar to ip address and subnet mask)

It just didn't get as popular as IP for some reason.

Re:And in other news... (1)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123363)

Thanks. Its been a long time since I actually used it as a transport - I spend more time now ripping it out of XP machines who refuse to use anything but IPX for talking to samba servers.
Overheard at work:
"But that will break all my games" - Customer
"Right now, access to the school file server and printers are broken. Do you want us to fix your problem so you can print your final or not?" - Helpdesk

Re:And in other news... (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123427)

Welcome to my world. :)

Great timing (3, Interesting)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123223)

I was planning on migrating two legacy networks off of DECnet and NETBeui over to TCP/IP transports. Considering this, I might as well leave the older protocols in place. Besides being easier to contain at the firewall (drop all non-ip), they are so old as to not be patent encumbered. Plus the netbeui stack actually fits on a floppy, unlike the MS TCP stack, which only fits after massive pruning and compression.

Re:Great timing (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123529)

I don't see how this in any way affects plans to move off of older protocols to plain TCP. I think you might be over-reacting

New Protocol (4, Funny)

dicepackage (526497) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123242)

It looks like it is time to switch to IPX or NetBEUI for the internet.

Re:New Protocol (3, Funny)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123434)

No,
Must use apple talk.

That would be fun.

Re:New Protocol (0)

cygtoad (619016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123480)

Nice

Did ANYONE RTFA??? (4, Interesting)

chrome (3506) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123444)

Especially the part where Robert Barr says "any party will be able to obtain a license from Cisco to use any such patent claims under reasonable, non-discriminatory terms, with reciprocity, to implement and fully comply with the standard."

That sounds like to me that Cisco will not be charging a whole lot for this license, it will probably be one of those $1 license deals where once you have it, you have it in perpetuity.

If Cisco don't apply for a patent, someone else WILL and those barstards might end up charging so much for the method that it never becomes a standard.

I don't think Cisco's intent is to make the standard too expensive for it to become an actual standard in use.

Re:Did ANYONE RTFA??? (1, Informative)

Aneurysm9 (723000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123535)

You forget, this is /. People see "patent" and panic. People rarely read the article or patent application. I'm not sure, but it looks like this might be the application they're referencing. United States Patent Application 20040081154: Internal BGP downloader. [uspto.gov] I tend to think like you do, Cisco sees this as something that is essential to the future of TCP as a viable standard and will not charge an arm and a leg for a license.

Re:Did ANYONE RTFA??? (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123571)

That sounds like to me that Cisco will not be charging a whole lot for this license, it will probably be one of those $1 license deals where once you have it, you have it in perpetuity.

And what, exactly, do you base the "probably" on? I see it as distinctly more probable that Cisco, being a dominant player, will implement what would otherwise be a discarded solution, and smaller vendors will be basically forced to follow suit. They will, of course, have to line up to pay the Cisco tax, and that internet tax will fall on the shoulders of every person using the services or products, directly or indirectly, of any of those firms.

Of course we're both just pissing in the wind because ultimately we have no idea, however Cisco has provided a bad precedent by going for this patent (and the "defensive patent" angle doesn't really fit here).

Re:Did ANYONE RTFA??? (1)

eggboard (315140) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123588)

I'm with you, chrome. The whole point of RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms is that companies that have intellectual property that they are either required as part of company policy or believe is wise of them to protect, can participate in standards development -- but only if they agree to RAND. If you don't agree to RAND, you can't corrupt the IETF, IEEE, or other bodies by later claiming high fees.

In many ways, Cisco is being a good citizen by saying, you can reliably go ahead and implement this stuff that uses our patents because we agree to RAND. This means, as chrome says, that Cisco is making sure that the rights are locked up, are licensed cheaply and reasonably, and that they have spent the legal $ to ensure so.

Re:Did ANYONE RTFA??? (2, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123589)

As CISCO has not disclosed the terms of their licencing, RAND means nothing. Setting the cost at a billion dollars, can be asserted as being Reasonable and Non Discriminatory, as the only "customer" involved would be Microsoft.

In all likelyhood you very well may be right. I don't know what Cisco thinks the market for licences to their patch happens to be, so neither of us are likely to be "correct" in our valuation.

-Rusty

Ambivalent about this (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123492)

Boo to Cisco for applying for dodgy software patents.

Yay to Cisco for being honest and telling people about it from the get-go.

Linksys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123493)

Does this mean I have to hate Linksys too? Because I really like their stuff.

Nothing to see here (4, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123494)

There's really nothing to be upset about. From the article:

In response, OpenBSD creator Theo de Raadt said, "The Cisco/IETF recommendations contain numerous problems and issues. They should not be followed. We have better fixes in OpenBSD. Other vendors should be looking at these." For example, as mentioned in our earlier article about TCP reset attacks, with the IETF's/Cisco's recommendations in place it would be possible for an attacker to use one host to potentially flood another.

Basically, the implementation that Cisco is trying to patent is also flawed. OpenBSD's implementation contains better fixes. Who cares if Cisco tries to patent a flawed fix that no one will end up using? Let them waste their money. Let's face it, this move is upsetting on principal but there's really nothing to see here ... move along.

Until Cisco pulls a RAMBUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123540)

Ooops nobody is paying us for our crappy idea. Let's sue people using the open standard and say that the open standard contains our pantented technology.

not again (0, Redundant)

pimpin apollo (664314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123495)

this is a joke right? or should I kill myself now?

Right, that's it! (2, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123509)

The Cisco is banished from Bejor, never to return.
The prophets have spoken.

since the act of patenting is itself a process... (1)

Jettamann (25050) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123550)

... why can't someone identify the "bugs" in the US patent process, identify one or more "improvements" to the buggy US patent process, and then apply for US patent on bug-fix to the patent process itself?

Can we stop this patent orgy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9123572)


My butt hurts already.

Cisco turning into junk, as is linksys. (3, Informative)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9123574)

For the record... I did some tests on linksys, dlink and netgear wireless access points and linksys was the worst. Netgear was actually the only one to function in all modes as advertised with perfect stability.

I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies. I just thought I'd mention that linksys is junk and owned by cisco. So maybe it's a family trait.
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