Friday, June 30, 2006

Irony

Newsforge reported today about Huawei's assertion that it has applied for a patent that may impact the standardization of syslog over SSL,"Patent application jeopardizes IETF syslog standard". Am I the only one who finds Huawei's assertion of intellectual property rights more than just a little bit ironic, particularly given the suit with Cisco that was settled back in 2004?

That said, without knowing the details of Hauwei's patent, I find it hard to believe that running anything over SSL could conceivably be considered novel by the patent office. Given that both syslog and SSL have existed for quite sometime and SSL was made to be able to run various protocols over it, the combination can't be considered novel. If the patent office lets this through, can I take any other existing protocol and combine that with SSL to create a patentable technology? Maybe I can patent Apples iTunes download service running over SSL, for instance. ;-)

In terms of whether this patent application actually does impact syslog over SSL, isn't it nice that open source will allow us to adapt and evolve to other secure logging standards, if and when the larger networking community decides what those are?

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