Dotcom Threatens to Sue Google Over Two-step Authentication

When you hear Kim Dotcom, it's probably in the context of the internet entrepreneur's adventures with the law and MegaUpload. However, this week, Dotcom is in the news for a completely different reason. Apparently, he's threatening to sue Twitter, Google and others over their use of two-step authentication.

Kim Dotcom revealed via Twitter yesterday that he holds the patent for two-step authentication and that Twitter, Google and others are infringing upon his IP.

"Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent," he tweeted, later adding, "I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me."

Dotcom also provided a link to his patent, which was filed in 1998 and made public two years later, in 2000. Titled 'Method for authorizing in data transmission systems,' the patent's abstract details a method of authentication that sees the user send "a qualifying identification of the data input apparatus together with a request for the generation or for the selection of a transaction authorization number TAN or the comparable password or selects them from a data file." The authorization computer would then send this transaction authorization number to another device (the patent gives the example of a pager). The user then enters the number into the previously mentioned 'data input apparatus,' whereby the validity of the the transaction authorization number is verified. 

So, Kim Dotcom owns this patent, and is holding that fact over the heads of some of the biggest names in the industry. What next? Well, Dotcom has said that he doesn't actually want to sue Google, Facebook, or Twitter. Instead, he just wants their help. The man is facing lengthy legal proceedings, the bill for which he estimates will be around $50 million. The problem is, MegaUpload's assets are all frozen, so he's asking for help.

"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 tweeted. "All of our assets are still frozen without trial. Defending our case will cost USD 50M+. I want to fight to the end because we are innocent."

Whether or not Google, Facebook, or Twitter will lend a hand remains to be seen, but it's certainly an interesting approach to raising the money for his defense.

  • spentshells
    He did not threaten he asked for donations, come on toms get your story straight....
  • teh_chem
    I hate Kim Dotcom. I think the specific legal issues he's in are trumped up. I'm confident that he was conducting business actions with MU that would be considered criminal, but no one would agree that what came to him was proportional to his actions. However, his past behaviors in business show that he's not some altruistic person that the tech community wants to make him out to be, and what I've read about him makes me really dislike him. He's ruethless, and gladly trampled anyone in his way.
    Regardless, the original source points out that there's prior art that could easily invalidate his patent.
    He's just trolling for help out of the situation he's in.
  • assasin32
    Seriously doubt Facebook, Twitter, and especially Citibank will help fund his defense. And this would probably fall under the "do no evil" part of google if they backed him. And quite frankly it sounds like he doesn't have the money to take on any of them over this patent. So I don't see him getting any funds from them anytime soon.
  • spentshells

    you say trampled anyone in his way, all the other companies have done this don't kid yourself it's only that they hide behind the mask of a brand name and the people incharge insulate themselves using layers upon layers of management, just like organized crime, no way to get to the top as the old saying goes shiat rolls downhill
  • nino_z
    I like this guy, he has a good approach. The internet is like space - endless and free, and i am against one country or another going up against Kim for offering people Cloud space. That's just unfair. It's like putting the creators of the cooking knife in jail, cause it's been used as a murder weapon once. Shame on you.
  • ricardok
    Interesting turn of events..
  • Afrospinach
    So he cannot pay for legal proceedings and is appealing for help with a threat of legal proceedings. What an outstanding character this guy is.
  • COLGeek
    This could get interesting, especially if Dotcom gets desperate for money. At that point, I would think his apparent good will of "patent free use" will go away is favor of $$$.
  • phyco126
    If his funds are frozen and he can't pay for his legal defense, I'm sure these big companies will laugh at his face for threatening to sue them (whether he has a case or not). Can't sue if you don't have the money.
  • scook9
    Isn't that called extortion? Threatening someone if they do not help you? Pretty sure it is also illegal.....