Kim Dotcom Threatens To Sue Google, Facebook And Twitter Over 2-Factor Authentication Patent If They Don't Help Him
from the hmmm dept
So, a lot of people are talking about Kim Dotcom’s latest gambit, which was to point out that he holds a patent (US 6,078,908 and apparently others in 12 other countries as well) that covers the basics of two-factor authentication, with a priority date of April of 1997. While interesting, he goes on to point out that he’s never sued over the patent because “I believe in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society.”
But… he says he may sue them now. Specifically, he’s asking them to help fund his defense, in exchange for not getting sued for the patent. He points out that his actual funds are still frozen by the DOJ and (more importantly) that his case actually matters a great deal to Google, Facebook and Twitter, because the eventual ruling will likely set a precedent that may impact them — especially around the DMCA. That’s actually a pretty good reason for the tech industry to think about participating in the case even if they don’t like Dotcom at all and don’t want to be associated with him. Bad cases make dangerous caselaw, so having a good defense would be useful.
That said, the threat of suing over a patent if they don’t fund his defense seems like a potentially poorly thought out strategic move that could backfire. Remember, Dotcom has been hit with racketeering claims, and I would think that anything that implies “give me money or I’ll sue” isn’t the best move for someone already facing racketeering charges.