was described in the original Call for Proposals,
and discussed on the PQC Forum, NIST has been reviewing intellectual property claims against the PQC finalists. While
submitters were required to disclose applicable patents and declare their intent regarding
licensing, a challenge in this process has been addressing IP claims by third parties, particularly against lattice-based candidates. NIST continues to engage IP holders to discuss applicability and intentions regarding licensing. We
recognize the impact that even questions over IPR and licensing terms can have on the adoption of cryptographic algorithms.
the sake of clarity, though, we should acknowledge NIST’s constraints
up front: The question of whether these
patent claims apply to the PQC finalists cannot be decisively determined by NIST, since it is a legal question. Because
of this, we do not expect definitive answers on the applicability of
patents during the timeline of this selection process. Furthermore, NIST does not have significant resources to license patents on behalf of implementers and users of cryptographic technologies.
would still like to hear from the community how intellectual property considerations will impact their adoption of any of the finalists, including questions over applicability and the effect of royalty-bearing licenses.