I found the following publication: Fast Multiplication on Elliptic Curves over GF(2^m) without Precomputation which
describes an algorithm for computing elliptic scalar multiplications on non-supersingular elliptic curves defined over GF(2^m).
In the paragraph 4.2 a version using projective coordinates is described to avoid field inversions in GF(2^m) (please refer to the publication for unknown variables).
On the other hand, I found the following patent: Accelerated finite field operations on an elliptic curve which presents
A method for multiplication of a point P on elliptic curve E by a value k in order to derive a point kP comprises the steps of representing the number k as vector of binary digits stored in a register and forming a sequence of point pairs (P1, P2) wherein the point pairs differed most by P and wherein the successive series of point pairs are selected either by computing $(2mP,(2m+1)P)$ from (mP,(m+1)P) or ((2m+1)P,(2m+2)P) from (mP,(m+1)P). The computations may be performed without using the y-coordinate of the points during the computation while allowing the y-coordinate to be extracted at the end of the computations, thus, avoiding the use of inversion operations during the computation and therefore, speeding up the cryptographic processor functions.
From my point of view, the algorithm presented in the publication is a particular case of the invention described in the patent. Plus it is well known that there are a lot of patents about ECC over binary fields. But I have a little doubt because one of the author of the publication (Julio Lopez) is from the same university of the patent authors (university of Waterloo).
So my question is the following: Can I use the publication to perform ECC without being under patent protection? More generally, can an academic publication be under patent protection?