- Sources Cited
- Question & Details
- Before You Answer
- Useful Info From Comments
https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2012/05/19/how-to-choose-authenticated-encryption/ (see first comment on the blog)
https://csrc.nist.gov/CSRC/media/Projects/Block-Cipher-Techniques/documents/BCM/proposed-modes/gcm/gcm-nist-ipr.pdf (shared by @fgrieu in the first comment)
Are the AE modes -- specifically AES-GCM -- safe ( i.e. won't cause legal issues ) for commercial use presently (October 2018)?
The aforementioned sources point to the fact that various AE schemes are patented by VDG and IBM.
Specifically, the 'Intellectual Property' section of the second source states:
"Gligor and Donescu (VDG) and Jutla (IBM) are inventors (owners) on US patents 6,963,976, 6,973,187, 7,093,126, and 8,107,620, all which concern AE but which may or may not apply to OCB."
Before You Answer:
I understand these sources are 6-12 years old.
The obvious argument that the details of the patents are not specified, and probably do permit the usage, given the widespread use of these AE schemes, is understood.
Despite point (2) above, the question is posed not out of laziness, but to check if the current ( official? ) status is already known, and verify the point (2).
My search term "Authenticated Encryption Usage Patents" does not return any existing answers to this question.
The second source says "If any of this information changes, the submitters will promptly (and within at most one month) announce these changes on the crypto-competitions mailing list."; this is probably where the current status should be.
Useful Info From Comments:
- Based on the first comment citing the third source above, the GCM authors do not claim any rights on the mode, nor are aware of any. Additionally, the fourth source states the same.
"The authors are unaware of any intellectual property rights that pertain to the Galois/Counter Mode of operation (GCM) , nor do they claim any such rights. The avoidance of such encumbrances was a specific design goal of the mode. It is based on methods that appeared in the literature over two decades ago: counter mode and universal hashing."
"The Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) of operation for block ciphers was designed to meet the need for an authenticated encryption mode that can efficiently achieve speeds of 10 gigabits per second and higher in hardware, can perform well in software, and is free of intellectual property restrictions"