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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 RFC 5339

Network Working Group                      J.L. Le Roux (France Telecom)
Internet Draft                                        D. Brungard (AT&T)
Category: Informational                                     E. Oki (NTT)
Expires: July 2006                           D.  Papadimitriou (Alcatel)
                                                       K. Shiomoto (NTT)
                                                  M. Vigoureux (Alcatel)



                                                            January 2006


        Evaluation of existing GMPLS Protocols against Multi Layer
                    and Multi Region Networks (MLN/MRN)

               draft-ietf-ccamp-gmpls-mln-eval-00.txt



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Abstract

   This document provides an evaluation of Generalized Multi-Protocol
   Label Switching (GMPLS) protocols and mechanisms against the
   requirements for Multi-Layer Networks (MLN) and Multi-Region Networks
   (MRN). In addition, this document identifies areas where additional
   protocol extensions or procedures are needed to satisfy these
   requirements, and provides guidelines for potential extensions.



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Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED",  "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119.

Table of Contents

   1.      Terminology.................................................3
   2.      Introduction................................................3
   3.      MLN/MRN Requirements Overview...............................4
   4.      Analysis....................................................4
   4.1.    Multi-Layer Aspects.........................................4
   4.1.1.  Support for Virtual Network Topology Reconfiguration........4
   4.1.1.1.  Control of FA-LSPs Setup/Release..........................5
   4.1.1.2.  Virtual TE-Links..........................................6
   4.1.1.3.  Traffic Disruption Minimization During FA Release.........7
   4.1.1.4.  Stability.................................................7
   4.1.2.  Support for FA-LSP Attributes Inheritance...................7
   4.1.3.  Support for Triggered Signaling.............................8
   4.1.4.  FA Connectivity Verification................................8
   4.2.    Multi-Region Specific Aspects...............................8
   4.2.1.  Support for Multi-Region Signaling..........................8
   4.2.2.  Advertisement of Internal Adaptation Capabilities...........9
   5.      Evaluation Conclusion......................................12
   6.      Security Considerations....................................12
   7.      Acknowledgments............................................12
   8.      References.................................................13
   8.1.    Normative..................................................13
   8.2.    Informative................................................13
   9.      Authors' Addresses:........................................13
   10.     Intellectual Property Statement............................14




















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1. Terminology

   This document uses terminologies defined in [RFC3945], [HIER], and
   [MRN-REQ].


2. Introduction

   Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) extends MPLS to
   handle multiple switching technologies: packet switching (PSC),
   layer-two switching (L2SC), TDM switching (TDM), wavelength switching
   (LSC) and fiber switching (FSC) (see [RFC 3945]).

   A data plane layer is a collection of network resources capable of
   terminating and/or switching data traffic of a particular format. For
   example, LSC, TDM VC-11 and TDM VC-4-64c represent three different
   layers. A network comprising transport nodes with different data
   plane switching layers controlled by a single GMPLS control plane
   instance is called a Multi-Layer Network (MLN).

   A GMPLS switching type (PSC, TDM, etc.) describes the ability of a
   node to forward data of a particular data plane technology, and
   uniquely identifies a control plane region. The notion of LSP Region
   is defined in [HIER]. A network comprised of multiple switching types
   (e.g. PSC and TDM) controlled by a single GMPLS control plane
   instance is called a Multi-Region Network (MRN).

   Note that the region is a control plane only concept. That is, layers
   of the same region share the same switching technology and,
   therefore, need the same set of technology specific signaling
   objects.

   Note that a MRN is necessarily a MLN, but not vice versa, as a MLN
   may consist of a single region (control of multiple data plane layers
   within a region). Hence, in the following, we use the term layer if
   the mechanism discussed applies equally to layers and regions (e.g.
   VNT, virtual TE-link, etc.), and we specifically use the term region
   if the mechanism applies only for supporting a MRN.

   The objectives of this document are to evaluate existing GMPLS
   mechanisms and protocols ([RFC 3945], [GMPLS-RTG], [GMPLS-SIG])
   against the requirements for MLN and MRN, defined in [MRN-REQ]. From
   this evaluation, we identify several areas where additional protocol
   extensions and modifications are required to meet these requirements,
   and provide guidelines for potential extensions.

   Section 3 provides an overview of MLN/MRN requirements.
   Section 4 evaluates for each of these requirements, whether current
   GMPLS protocols and mechanisms allow addressing the requirements.
   When the requirements are not met, the document identifies whether

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   the required mechanisms could rely on GMPLS protocols and procedure
   extensions or if it is entirely out of the scope of GMPLS protocols.

   Note that this document specifically addresses GMPLS control plane
   functionality for MLN/MRN in the context of a single administrative
   control plane partition.

3. MLN/MRN Requirements Overview

   [MRN-REQ] lists a set of functional requirements for Multi
   Layer/Region Networks (MLN/MRN). These requirements are summarized
   below:

        - Support of robust Virtual Network Topology (VNT)
          reconfiguration. This implies the following requirements:
                - Optimal control of FA-LSP setup
                  and release;
                - Support for virtual TE-links;
                - Traffic Disruption minimization during FA-LSP release
                  (e.g. network reconfiguration events);
                - Stability

        - Support for FA-LSP attributes inheritance;

        - Support for Triggered Signaling;

        - Support for FA data plane connectivity verification;

        - Support for Multi-region signaling;

        - Advertisement of the adaptation capabilities and resources.

4. Analysis

4.1. Multi-Layer Aspects

4.1.1. Support for Virtual Network Topology Reconfiguration

   A set of lower-layer FA-LSPs provides a Virtual Network Topology
   (VNT) to the upper-layer. By reconfiguring the VNT (FA-LSP
   setup/release) according to traffic demands between source and
   destination node pairs of a layer, network performance factors such
   as maximum link utilization and residual capacity of the network can
   be optimized. Such optimal VNT reconfiguration implies several
   mechanisms that are analyzed in the following sections.

   Note that the VNT approach is just one approach among others, to
   perform inter-layer Traffic Engineering.





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4.1.1.1. Control of FA-LSPs Setup/Release

   In a Multi-Layer Network, FA-LSPs are created, modified, released
   periodically according to the change of incoming traffic demands from
   the upper layer.

   This implies a TE mechanism that takes into account the demands
   matrix, the TE topology and potentially the current VNT, in order to
   compute a new VNT.

   Several building blocks are required to support such TE mechanism:
        - Discovery of TE topology and available resources;
        - Collection of traffic demands of the upper layer;
        - VNT engine, ensuring VNT computation and reconfiguration
          according to upper layer traffic demands and TE topology
         (and potentially old VNT);
        - FA-LSP setup/release;

   GMPLS routing protocols support TE topology discovery and
   GMPLS signaling protocols allow setting up/releasing FA-LSPs.

   VNT computation and reconfiguration is out of the scope of GMPLS
   protocols. Such functionality can be achieved directly on layer
   border LSRs, or one or more external tools, as for instance Path
   Computation Elements (PCE) (see [PCE-ARCH]).

   The set of traffic demands of the upper layer is required to
   recompute and re-optimize the VNT. This requires knowledge of the
   aggregated bandwidth reserved by upper layer LSPs established between
   any pair of border LSRs.
   Existing GMPLS routing allows for the collection of traffic demands
   of the upper region. It can be deduced from FA TE-link
   advertisements.
   The set of traffic demands can be inferred:
        - either directly, based on upper-layer FA TE-link
           advertisements. The traffic demands between two points
           correspond to the cumulated bandwidth reserved by upper-layer
           LSPs between these two points;
        - or indirectly, based on lower-layer FA TE-link
           advertisements. In this case a mechanism to infer the upper-
           layer traffic demand from the aggregated bandwidth reserved
           in lower-layer LSPs might be required, as all pairs of border
           nodes may not be directly connected by a lower layer LSP.

   Collection of traffic demands of an upper region may actually be
   achieved in several ways depending on the location of VNT engines:
        - If a VNT engine is distributed on border region LSRs, then the
          collection of traffic demands would rely on existing GMPLS
          routing, as per described above;
        - If a VNT engine is located on an external tool (e.g. a PCE)
          then the collection of traffic demands may be achieved using
          existing GMPLS routing, provided that the tool relies on GMPLS

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          routing to discover TE link information, or it may rely on
          another mechanism out of the scope of GMPLS protocols (e.g.
          SNMP, PCC-PCE communication protocolÂ…).

4.1.1.2. Virtual TE-Links

   A Virtual TE-link is a TE-link between two nodes, not actually
   associated to a fully provisioned FA-LSP. A Virtual TE-link
   represents the potentiality to setup a FA-LSP. There is no IGP
   adjacency associated to a Virtual TE-link. A Virtual TE-link is
   advertised as any classical TE-link, i.e. following the rules in
   [HIER] defined for fully provisioned TE-links. Particularly, the
   flooding scope of a Virtual TE-link is within an IGP area, as any TE-
   link.

   During its signaling, if an upper-layer LSP makes use of a Virtual
   TE-link, the underlying FA-LSP is immediately signaled and
   provisioned.

   The use of Virtual TE-links has two main advantages:

     - flexibility: allows to compute a LSP path using TE-links and this
       without taking into account the actual status of the
       corresponding FA-LSP in the lower layer in terms of provisioning;

     - stability: allows stability of TE-links, while
       avoiding wastage of bandwidth in the lower layer, as data
       plane connections are not established.

   Note also that it avoids state maintenance but is susceptible to
   create contention if no adequate/consistent admission control is put
   in place.

   Virtual TE-links are setup/deleted/modified dynamically, according to
   the change of the (forecast) traffic demand, operator's policies for
   capacity utilization, and the available resources in the lower layer.

   The support of Virtual TE-links requires two main building blocks:
        - A TE mechanism for dynamic modification of Virtual TE-link
          Topology;
        - A signaling mechanism for the dynamic setup and deletion of
          virtual TE-links. Setting up a virtual TE-link
          requires a signaling mechanism allowing an end-to-end
          association between Virtual TE-link end points so as to
          exchange link identifiers as well as some TE parameters.

   The TE mechanism responsible for triggering/policing dynamic
   modification of Virtual TE-links is out of the scope of GMPLS
   protocols.

   Current GMPLS signaling does not allow setting up and releasing
   Virtual TE-links. Hence GMPLS signaling must be extended to support

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   Virtual TE-links. The association between Virtual TE-link end-points
   may rely on extensions to the RSVP-TE ASON Call procedure ([GMPLS-
   ASON]).

   Note that the support of Virtual TE-link does not require any GMPLS
   routing extension.

4.1.1.3. Traffic Disruption Minimization During FA Release

   Before deleting a given FA-LSP, all nested LSPs have to be rerouted
   and removed from the FA-LSP to avoid traffic disruption.
   The mechanisms required here are similar to those required for
   graceful deletion of a TE-Link. A Graceful TE-link deletion mechanism
   allows for the deletion of a TE-link without disrupting traffic of
   TE-LSPs that where using the TE-link.
   GMPLS protocols do not provide for explicit indication to trigger
   such operation.

   Hence, GMPLS routing and/or signaling extensions are required
   to support graceful deletion of TE-links.  This may rely, for
   instance, on new signaling Error code to notify head-end LSRs that a
   TE-link along the path of a LSP is going to disappear, and also on
   new routing attributes (if limited to a single IGP area), such as
   defined in [GR-SHUT].

4.1.1.4. Stability

   The upper-layer LSP stability may be impaired if the VNT undergoes
   frequent changes. In this context robustness of the VNT is defined as
   the capability to smooth impact of these changes and avoid their
   subsequent propagation.

   Guaranteeing VNT stability is out of the scope of GMPLS protocols and
   relies entirely on the capability of TE algorithms to minimize
   routing perturbations. This requires that the TE algorithm takes into
   account the old VNT when computing a new VNT, and tries to minimize
   the perturbation.

4.1.2. Support for FA-LSP Attributes Inheritance

   When FA TE-link parameters are inherited from FA-LSP parameters,
   specific inheritance rules are applied.

   This relies on local procedures and policies and is out of the scope
   of GMPLS protocols.
   Note that this requires that both head-end and tail-end of the FA-LSP
   are driven by same policies.






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4.1.3. Support for Triggered Signaling.

   When a LSP crosses the boundary from an upper to a lower layer, it
   may be nested in or stitched to a lower-layer LSP. If such an LSP
   does not exist the LSP may be established dynamically. Such a
   mechanism is referred to as "Triggered signaling".

   Triggered signaling requires the following building blocks:
        - The identification of layer boundaries.
        - A path computation engine capable of computing a path
          containing multiple layers.
        - A mechanism for nested signaling.

   The identification of layer boundaries is supported by GMPLS routing
   protocols. The identification of layer boundaries is performed using
   the interface switching capability descriptor associated to the TE-
   link (see [HIER] and [GMPLS-RTG]).

   The capability to compute a path containing multiple layers is a
   local implementation issue and is out of the scope of GMPLS protocols.

   A mechanism for nested signaling is defined in [HIER].

   Hence, GMPLS protocols already meet this requirement.

4.1.4. FA Connectivity Verification

   Once fully provisioned, FA liveliness may be achieved by verifying
   its data plane connectivity.

   FA connectivity verification relies on technology specific mechanisms
   (e.g. for SDH, G.707, G.783, for MPLS, BFD, etc.) as for any other
   LSP. Hence this requirement is out of the scope of GMPLS protocols.

   Note that the time to establish the FA-LSP must be minimized.

4.2. Multi-Region Specific Aspects

4.2.1. Support for Multi-Region Signaling

   Applying the triggered signaling procedure discussed above, in a MRN
   environment may lead to the setup of one-hop FA-LSPs between each
   node. Therefore, considering that the path computation is able to
   take into account richness of information with regard to the
   Switching Capability (SC) available on given nodes belonging to the
   path, it is consistent to provide enough signaling information to
   indicate the SC to be used and on over which link.

   Limited extension to existing GMPLS signaling procedures is required
   for this purpose as it only mandates indication of the SCs to be
   included or excluded before initiating the LSP provisioning procedure.
   This enhancement would solve the ambiguous choice of SC that are

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   potentially used along a given path, particularly in case of ERO
   expansion, or when an ERO sub-object identifies a multi-SC TE-link.
   This would give the possibility to optimize resource usage on a
   multi-region basis.

4.2.2. Advertisement of Internal Adaptation Capabilities

   In the MRN context, nodes supporting more than one switching
   capability on at least one interface are called Hybrid nodes. Hybrid
   nodes contain at least two distinct switching elements that are
   interconnected by internal links to provide adaptation between the
   supported switching capabilities.
   These internal links have finite capacities and must be taken into
   account when computing the path of a multi-region TE-LSP.
   The advertisement of the internal adaptation capability is required
   as it provides critical information when performing multi-region path
   computation.

   Figure 1a below shows an example of hybrid node. The hybrid node has
   two switching elements (matrices), which support here TDM and PSC
   switching respectively. The node terminates two PSC and TDM ports
   (port1 and port2 respectively). It also has internal link connecting
   the two switching elements.
   The two switching elements are internally interconnected in such a
   way that it is possible to terminate some of the resources of the TDM
   port 2 and provide through them adaptation for PSC traffic,
   received/sent over the internal PSC interface (#b). Two ways are
   possible to set up PSC LSPs (port 1 or port 2). Available resources
   advertisement e.g. Unreserved and Min/Max LSP Bandwidth should cover
   both ways.


                             Network element
                        .............................
                        :            --------       :
              PSC       :           |  PSC   |      :
            Port1-------------<->--|#a      |      :
                        :  +--<->---|#b      |      :
                        :  |         --------       :
              TDM       :  |        ----------      :
              +PSC      :  +--<->--|#c  TDM   |     :
            Port2 ------------<->--|#d        |     :
                        :           ----------      :
                        :............................

                             Figure 1a. Hybrid node.







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   Port 1 and Port 2 can be grouped together thanks to internal DWDM, to
   result in a single interface: Link 1. This is illustrated in figure
   1b below.

                             Network element
                        .............................
                        :            --------       :
                        :           |  PSC   |      :
                        :           |        |      :
                        :         --|#a      |      :
                        :        |  |   #b   |      :
                        :        |   --------       :
                        :        |       |          :
                        :        |  ----------      :
                        :    /|  | |    #c    |     :
                        :   | |--  |          |     :
              Link1 ========| |    |    TDM   |     :
                        :   | |----|#d        |     :
                        :    \|     ----------      :
                        :............................

                        Figure 1b. Hybrid node.


   Let's assume that all interfaces are STM16 (with VC4-16c capable
   as Max LSP bandwidth). After, setting up several PSC LSPs via port #a
   and setting up and terminating several TDM LSPs via port #d and port
   #b, there is only 155 Mb capacities still available on port #b.
   However a 622 Mb capacity remains on port #a and VC4-5c capacity on
   port #d.

   When computing the path for a new VC4-4c TDM LSP, one must know, that
   this node cannot terminate this LSP, as there is only 155Mb still
   available for TDM-PSC adaptation. Hence the internal TDM-PSC
   adaptation capability must be advertised.

   With current GMPLS routing [GMPLS-RTG] this advertisement is possible
   if link bundling is not used and if two TE-links are advertised for
   link1:

   We would have the following TE-link advertisements:
   TE-link 1 (port 1):
        - ISCD #1 sub-TLV: TDM with Max LSP bandwidth = VC4-4c,
                           unreserved bandwidth = vc4-5c.
        - ISCD #2 sub-TLV: PSC with Max LSP bandwidth = 155 Mb,
                           unreserved bandwidth = 155 Mb.

   TE-Link 2 (port 2):
         - ISCD sub-TLV: PSC with Max LSP bandwidth = 622Mb, unreserved
                         bandwidth = 622Mb.


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   The ISCD 2 in TE-link 1 represents actually the internal TDM-PSC
   adaptation capability.

   However if for obvious scalability reasons link bundling is done then
   the adaptation capability information is lost with current GMPLS
   routing, as we have the following TE-link advertisement:

   TE-link 1 (port 1 + port 2):
        - ISCD #1 sub-TLV: TDM with Max LSP bandwidth = VC4-4c,
                           unreserved bandwidth = vc4-5c.
        - ISCD #2 sub-TLV: PSC with Max LSP bandwidth = 622 Mb,
                           unreserved bandwidth = 777 Mb.

   With such TE-link advertisement an element computing the path of a
   VC4-4C LSP cannot know that this LSP cannot be terminated on the
   node.

   Thus current GMPLS routing can support the advertisement of the
   internal adaptation capability but this precludes performing link
   bundling and thus faces significant scalability limitations.

   Hence, GMPLS routing must be extended to meet this requirement. This
   could rely on the advertisement of the internal adaptation
   capabilities as a new TE link attribute (that would complement the
   Interface Switching Capability Descriptor TE-link attribute).




























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5. Evaluation Conclusion

   Most of MLN/MRN requirements will rely on mechanisms and procedures
   that are out of the scope of the GMPLS protocols, and thus do not
   require any GMPLS protocol extensions. They will rely on local
   procedures and policies, and on specific TE mechanisms and
   algorithms.

   As regards Virtual Network Topology (VNT) computation and
   reconfiguration, specific TE mechanisms that could for instance rely
   on PCE based mechanisms and protocols, need to be defined, but these
   mechanisms are out of the scope of GMPLS protocols.

   Four areas for extensions of GMPLS protocols and procedures have been
   identified:

        - GMPLS signaling extension for the setup/deletion of
          the virtual TE-links (as well as exact trigger for its actual
          provisioning);

        - GMPLS routing and signaling extension for graceful TE-link
          deletion;

        - GMPLS signaling extension for constrained multi-region
          signaling (SC inclusion/exclusion);

        - GMPLS routing extension for the advertisement of the
          internal adaptation capability of hybrid nodes.

6. Security Considerations

   This document specifically addresses GMPLS control plane
   functionality for MLN/MRN in the context of a single administrative
   control plane partition and hence does not introduce additional
   security threats beyond those described in [RFC3945].

7. Acknowledgments

   We would like to thank Julien Meuric and Igor Bryskin for their
   useful comments.













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8. References

8.1. Normative

   [RFC3979] Bradner, S., "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
   Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979, March 2005.

   [RFC3945] Mannie, E., et. al. "Generalized Multi-Protocol Label
   Switching Architecture", RFC 3945, October 2004


   [GMPLS-RTG] Kompella, K., Ed. and Y. Rekhter, Ed., "Routing
   Extensions in Support of Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching",
   draft-ietf-ccamp-gmpls-routing, work in Progress.

   [GMPLS-SIG] Berger, L., et. al. "Generalized Multi-Protocol Label
   Switching (GMPLS) Signaling Functional Description", RFC 3471,
   January 2003.

8.2. Informative

   [GMPLS-ASON] Papadimitriou, D., et. al., " Generalized MPLS (GMPLS)
   RSVP-TE Signaling in support of Automatically Switched Optical
   Network (ASON)", draft-ietf-ccamp-gmpls-rsvp-te-ason, work in progess.

   [MRN-REQ] Shiomoto, K., Papadimitriou, D., Le Roux, J.L., Vigoureux,
   M., Brungard, D., "Requirements for GMPLS-based multi-region and
   multi-layer networks", draft-shiomoto-ccamp-gmpls-mrn-reqs, work in
   progess.

   [PCE-ARCH] Farrel, A., Vasseur, J.P., Ash, J., "Path Computation
   Element (PCE) Architecture", draft-ietf-pce-architecture, work in
   progress.

   [GTEP] Oki, E., et. al., "Generalized Traffic Engineering Protocol",
   draft-oki-pce-gtep, work in progress.

   [HIER] K. Kompella and Y. Rekhter, "LSP hierarchy with generalized
   MPLS TE", draft-ietf-mpls-lsp-hierarchy, work in progress.

   [GR-SHUT] Ali, Z., Zamfir, A., "Graceful Shutdown in MPLS Traffic
   Engineering Network", draft-ali-ccamp-mpls-graceful-shutdown, work in
   progress.

9. Authors' Addresses:

   Jean-Louis Le Roux
   France Telecom
   2, avenue Pierre-Marzin
   22307 Lannion Cedex, France
   Email: jeanlouis.leroux@francetelecom.com


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   Deborah Brungard
   AT&T
   Rm. D1-3C22 - 200 S. Laurel Ave.
   Middletown, NJ, 07748 USA
   E-mail: dbrungard@att.com

   Eiji Oki
   NTT
   3-9-11 Midori-Cho
   Musashino, Tokyo 180-8585, Japan
   Email: oki.eiji@lab.ntt.co.jp

   Dimitri Papadimitriou
   Alcatel
   Francis Wellensplein 1,
   B-2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
   Email: dimitri.papadimitriou@alcatel.be

   Kohei Shiomoto
   NTT
   3-9-11 Midori-Cho
   Musashino, Tokyo 180-8585, Japan
   Email: shiomoto.kohei@lab.ntt.co.jp

   Martin Vigoureux
   Alcatel
   Route de Nozay,
   91461 Marcoussis Cedex, France
   Email: martin.vigoureux@alcatel.fr


10. Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
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