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From Marc Slemko <ma...@worldgate.com>
Subject Re: RSA patents in Canada
Date Tue, 22 Apr 1997 19:35:04 GMT
On Tue, 22 Apr 1997, sameer wrote:

> > (no, this isn't appropriate to this list and I post simply because there
> > are a good number of people who may know... any discussion is probably
> > best taken off-list)
> > 
> > Does RSA's patent related to the cipher needed to talk SSL to most clients
> > apply in Canada?  I have seen this asked a good bit but can find no answer
> > anywhere.
> 
> 	My take on things, IANAL: (I'm cc'ing Greg, who is also NAL,
> but will be soon =)
> 
> 	RSA isn't patented in Canada, but because of NAFTA you need a
> license to practice the patent in Canada because it is patented in the
> US.

But AFAIK in Canadian law you can't patent an algorithm:

from http://info.ic.gc.ca/ic-data/marketplace/cipo/prod_ser/pubs/guides_e/g_pat_e1.html:

   You cannot patent a
   scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, a method of
   doing business, a computer program, or a medical treatment


but http://www.trytel.com/~pbkerr/computer.html#Patents says:

    1. Unapplied mathematical formulae are considered equivalent to mere 
       scientific principles or abstract theorems which are not               
       patentable under section 27(3) of the Patent Act.                      
    2. The presence of a programmed general purpose computer or a program
       for such computer does not lend patentability to, nor subtract
       patentability from, an apparatus or process.                     
    3. It follows from 2, that new and useful processes incorporating a     
       computer program, and apparatus incorporating a programmed              
       computer, are directed to patentable subject matter if the     
       computer-related matter has been integrated with another practical
       system that falls within an area which is traditionally             
       patentable. This principle is illustrative of what types of      
       computer-related applications may be patentable, and is not    
       intended to exclude other computer-related applications from
       patentability.                                                   

and  http://weewannie.library.ubc.ca/patscan/softpat.html.  sigh.

Then, http://autm.rice.edu/autm/journal/94/NAFTA94.html suggests:

   Unlike the FTA, NAFTA has expressly adopted as one of its six stated
   objectives to provide adequate and effective protection and
   enforcement of intellectual property rights in each of the three
   jurisdictions. Intellectual property rights are defined as "copyright
   and related rights, trademark rights, patent rights, rights in layout
   designs of semiconductor integrated circuits, trade secret rights,
   plant breeders' rights, rights in geographical indications, and
   industrial design rights."                                    
                  
   NAFTA expands on the FTA by including a chapter on intellectual
   property. Chapter 17 of NAFTA establishes detailed obligations on the
   parties in the area of intellectual property protection. Many of the
   provisions are similar to the provisions of GATT concerning trade
   related aspects of intellectual property rights ("TRIPS"). Chapter 17
   adopts many of the protections, provisions, and principles which have
   been incorporated in the intellectual property laws of the parties, as
   well as other modern national intellectual property laws and
   international treaties. In many cases, NAFTA sets certain minimum
   standards of protection already provided by the countries' current
   legislation.

   The intellectual property chapter follows the general approach taken
   in international intellectual property treaties: namely, that each
   country must provide to the nationals of another country effective
   protection of intellectual property. For this purpose, each country
   must accede to specified texts of international conventions. NAFTA has
   required amendments to the intellectual property laws of all member
   countries, although more significant changes will be required for
   Mexico.

   Each country must provide in its territory to the "nationals of
   another country" adequate and effective protection and enforcement of
   intellectual property rights while ensuring that measures to enforce
   intellectual property rights do not themselves become barriers to
   legitimate trade. A country may implement in its domestic law more
   extensive protection of intellectual property rights than is required
   under NAFTA, provided that such protection is not inconsistent with
   NAFTA.

Gawk.  Ok, I'm convinced there are probably no nice answers.
Annoying thing is that it is probably cheaper to buy Stronghold
than have our lawyer figure this out.  I have nothing against buying
Stronghold, but... such a waste since the only thing we care about
is the RSA license. <sigh>


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