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NIST has proposed a draft 800-38G for standardizing FPE (Format Preserving Encryption), but it seems like Voltage Inc has patents on it. So, if some other company wants to implement FPE in their products, how does this work? Should we pay to Voltage?

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If you're interested in the validity of the patent(s), you might want to ask about it on patents.SE. In particular, it occurs to me that this old Usenet thread from 2005 might (IANAL) qualify as prior art for several of the claims in the Voltage "core patent" #7,864,952 (and I'm now a bit disappointed that I never publicly posted another script I wrote around the same time, which included check digit removal and reconstruction). –  Ilmari Karonen Oct 8 '13 at 23:00
@IlmariKaronen Think positive: at least you didn't become one of those patent-trolls too. ;) –  e-sushi Oct 8 '13 at 23:20
Sounds like a great question for patents.stackexchange.com –  Blaze Oct 9 '13 at 0:00
This is not about cryptography, but about patents, therefore I'm closing it. –  Paŭlo Ebermann Nov 23 '13 at 18:26
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closed as off-topic by Paŭlo Ebermann Nov 23 '13 at 18:26

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1 Answer

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This is more a legal question than a cryptographic one. Therefore I would like to note that I can not provide any legal advice and that you should ask a lawyer about the details of your individual case.

But, to share my point of view which I base on my personal experience:

If a company owns a patent (on an encryption technology, or anything else), they indeed expect you to pay them (directly or indirectly) when you use their patented product and/or solution.

Yet, chances are that they do own the patent, but don't expect compensation "under certain conditions". To learn about those conditions, and to avoid legal issues, it's therefore best to contact the patent owner — in this case "Voltage" — and ask them how they handle this and what they would (legally and financially) expect if you would implement and use their patented solution in your individual case.

A positive side-effect of contacting them is, that "if" a legal problem arises at a later point, you can prove that you have contacted them and acted upon the information they (being the patent owner) provided.

More details can be found here

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