Flamboyant and controversial Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has claimed that the two-step authentication method used by Google, Facebook and, most recently, Twitter violates a patent registered in his name.
The patent in question, US 6078908 A, dates back to 1997 and is registered to Dotcom under his birth name Kim Schmitz. You can see the entire patent text here, but in summary, it talks about a system which uses a secondary verification code sent to another device to validate a login. To Dotcom’s credit, the patent’s wording says pager or cellular phone quite clearly, so it looks like the NZ-based entrepreneur does have a case.
Unfortunately for the allegedly infringing companies, Dotcom tweeted that since he is being chased by US law authorities, he is considering suing the trio. “I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me,” another tweet said. In the same breath, Dotcom said the three companies could continue using his patent for free, if they are willing to release funds for his impending trial in the US. “Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help funding my defense,” he said on the micro-blogging site.
The really interesting point here is that implementation of Dotcom’s invention of two-step authentication has not changed since it was filed all those years ago. Despite all the unwanted attention he garners through multiple lawsuits and alleged copyright infringements, Dotcom’s claims and the evidence backing it show he is still a force to be reckoned with.