IPv6 is an important protocol for the Internet. Despite great demand, spread of this standard is slow. Some suggest this is due to fear of patent ambush because the widespread use of the standard is predictable and irreversible.
Which ones are problematic?
A web search for [ipv6 patent] gives lots of results. Which ones matter?
Idea: try searching the "v6ops" mailing list archives.
The same has happened with IP version 6. You notice that everyone is saying IP version 6 is this, is that, and there's all this research software up there. No one at Cisco is releasing big IPv6 routers. Not because there's no market demand, but because they want 20 years to have elapsed from the publication of the standard before the product comes out -- because they know that there will be hundreds of people who've had guesses at where the standard would go and filed patents around it. And it's easier to let things lapse for 20 years than fight the system.
(This idea is questioned in this Slashdot comment)
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Microsoft criticized for 'IPv6-like' patent, 23 Mar 2005, CNet
- IPv6, Wikipedia - no mention of patents