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RSA claiming trademark on all uses of "RSA" to describe algorithm
> This is a stds-p1363 broadcast. See the IEEE P1363 web page
> (http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1363/) for more information,
> including how to subscribe/unsubscribe.
> Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. has sent a letter to the P1363
> working group regarding trademark protection of the RSA name. The letter
> is now available from our patents page
> or directly at
Now that their patent is getting ready to expire (next fall), RSA is
trying to crack down on anyone who refers to the use of the
algorithm by calling it "RSA". They don't mind if you call it "type
1" or something else meaningless and irrelevant, though. This is a
new low for a company known for self-serving legal bluster.
You would think they'd prefer to have people mentioning their corporate
name all over the place, but now that the algorithm has wide recognition,
they seem to want to make sure that nobody *else* can say their product
does RSA. Even if it does. If they can't keep you from competing,
at least they want to prevent you from advertising that you compete.
They aren't asking much...
Perhaps we should have a little contest for what to call the RSA
algorithm, given RSA's objection to calling a shovel a spade. ASR
perhaps? Though ASS is tempting, I wouldn't want to gratuitously
eliminate Ron Rivest's initial. SAR as in what a SARry company? RAS,
to send a RASberry to the lawyers?
"EFN" is rot13 of RSA, can we make up a good phrase that it's
supposed to stand for? Electronic Freedom Now? (Well, after Oct 2000
anyway.) Extra Funny Name? Elegant Fraud Nixer? Embargoed For Now?
STB is RSA+1 (as in IBM and HAL); any good phrases lurking in there?
RAL are the first (rather than last) initials of the inventors.
Then there's RRASLA, the first and last initials.
There's always completely new names: "ExpoMax", "FactorThis!",
"SuperSig", "RonFish", etc...
PS: The alternative, of course, is to ignore them and keep using the
term "RSA". Let them prove to a court that they own the term, which
was in use before they formed the company and which was created in the
traditional scientific community naming convention (after the names of
the inventors). Or intervene in their trademark filings, saying the
term has wide use in the scientific and technical literature and that
they're trying to inappropriately monopolize it to replace their
expiring patent protection. Does anyone out there work for a company
that would like to continue using the term "RSA" after you don't have
to pay the company for the patent any more? (I'm sure if you continue
to pay them, they'll be glad to let you keep using the word; but you
might have other ideas.) Which would be cheaper? Having your
lawyers write a few letters to trademark agencies in various
countries now? Or negotiating with good old "How much you got?" RSA?