Hours after Twitter rolled out support for two-step verification, Kim Dotcom has claimed credit for inventing the security feature. In a series of tweets, the embattled Megaupload founder points to a patent dating back to 1997 as proof for his claim, and accuses companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter of infringing his intellectual property rights.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication.Massive IP infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 22, 2013
"I never sued them," Dotcom continues. "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." The faint threat is followed by a plea to the named companies for financial support in Dotcom's ongoing fight against extradition to the US.
Dotcom's patent appears to hold some water
While there are likely many who could lay claim to an innovation such as two-step, Dotcom's patent — filed under his birth name, Kim Schmitz — appears to hold some water. It claims priority back to 1997, which would make it difficult to invalidate, and has wide coverage. Despite its age, it illustrates the current concept of two-step authentication by detailing how a secondary access code could be sent via pager or SMS.
Dotcom has a record of controversial, attention-grabbing public statements, and this latest revelation may be nothing more than an attempt to garner sympathy for his cause. But at the very least, it serves as a reminder that there is often more to the flamboyant entrepreneur than meets the eye.
Matt Macari contributed to this report.