* WGs marked with an * asterisk has had at least one new draft made available during the last 5 days

Intellectual Property

The intellectual property rules are defined in a couple of BCPs:

RFC3978 and RFC4748 for copyright, and RFC3979 for patents.

Copyright is not in general an issue, although some open source proponents are not entirely happy with the copying conditions for code included in RFCs. However, there don't seem to be any cases where this has caused a real-world problem.

Patents can be an issue. As the rules say, it's a WG decision document-by-document whether a patent disclosure actually influences the technology choice made by a WG. It's quite within the rules for a WG to propose to standardize a patented technology that offers "reasonable and non-discriminatory" licenses, but it's also within the rules for a WG to prefer an alternative technology that offers "royalty-free" licenses or is not known to be patented at all. When seeking consensus on such a choice, the guidance in RFC3669 may be of interest. But remember, a patent disclosure is not a stop-work order; it's just one issue among many that a WG needs to consider.

Also remember that any standard is at the mercy of a "submarine patent" from a third party not involved in the standards activity, which only surfaces when the standard is published and the products are in the market. So there is a limit to what you can usefully worry about.