A low-key patent grant announced Thursday could lead to legal clashes with several major players in the digital media arena. Kevin Bermeister, CEO of patent holder Kinetech Inc., intends to demand license fees from companies providing cloud services and digital content distribution like Apple, Amazon and Google.
Bermeister is a familiar name from the earliest days of digital music innovation and litigation. Kinetech is a subsidiary of Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc., as is Altnet Inc., which supplied technology to the Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing service.
The three patents cover the use of file hashes and content-based identifiers for the identification and use of data in computer systems. BDE business development manager Michael Speck told iTnews that they have been added to a portfolio that covers many other activities involving the location, management and distribution of content. Additional technical details of the patents can be found at The Register.
Bermeister said Kinetech already has licensed its patents to numerous companies including Iron Mountain, Level 3, Skype, Audible Magic and Limewire .“We continue to actively pursue licensing and participation in the operation of businesses that use our patents for content addressable storage, cloud computing, search, social networking and other important developing technologies in the rapidly growing distributed computing category,” he said in a statement.
As further evidence of its position, Speck told iTnews that BDE will refer to the landmark 2005 ruling in the Federal Court of Australia case Universal Music vs. Kazaa Networks, in which the patented technologies were a key issue. Kazaa relaunched in 2009 as a provider of licensed music and ringtones, and Altnet also now powers a licensed music subscription service.
“From the outset we envisaged our patents could support businesses operating in the emerging distributed computing fields,” Bermeister said.
iTnews post: http://tinyurl.com/3dovcux
The Register post: http://tinyurl.com/3ps8wf2