I saw an article this morning, discussing the fact that RSA and DH may be significantly less secure in the upcoming five years. Although the chance that this will materialize is small, I immediately turned to thinking about reasons why ECC isn't mainstream. The biggest obstacle I have been able to come up with is the fact that BlackBerry (Certicom), and some other companies own a ton of ECC patents, and mostly "own" the technology.
What would be the optimal solution for this issue? I am aware that there are numerous public licenses for open source (FOSS, FLOSS, etc.), but, having never used them before, I am not familiar with their applicability (if at all) in this situation, nor am I familiar with the way that these patents could become open to the public aside from time and purchase.
Who would have the finances and motivations to actually purchase these patents? Are there corporations or organizations that do this in order to bring technology into the open source community, or are there just some rich individuals who do this ad-hoc? Is there another, more optimal solution which could occur, such as white house intervention?