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May 23, 2013

Kim Dotcom Threatens Patent Infringement Suit Against Google, Facebook, Twitter

Mega Founder Claims to Have Invented Two-Step Authentication

Kim Dotcom, who claims to be the inventor of two-step authentication, is threatening to sue Google, Facebook, Twitter and other companies that use the technology.

The eccentric founder of new Internet hosting service, Mega, says he doesn’t really want to sue anyone, but he desperately needs money — and a lot of it — to pay for his legal costs as he fights charges of deliberate and repeated copyright violations connected to Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site that was shutdown following the indictment and arrests of Dotcom and fellow owners in January 2012 by the United States Department of Justice.

The indictment said Dotcom and the other owners infringed the copyrights of certain motion pictures, television programs, musical recordings, electronic books, images, video games, and other computer software, by reproducing and distributing over the Internet.

Domain names were seized and sites connected to Megaupload were shut down by the DoJ.

Dotcom, who maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing, has said he will “fight to the end” to clear his name.

Dotcom took to Twitter Wednesday and today, posting various indignant comments.

“Twitter introduces Two-Step-Authentication. Using my invention. But they won’t even verify my Twitter account?!” he tweeted.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step Authentication. Massive IP infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent.”

Dotcom even offered up some “proof” that two-step authentication is his creation.

“Big reveal: 1 billion+ Two-Step-Authentications on the Internet weekly,” he tweeted. “I invented it. Here’s proof: …

The  patent, which is filed under Dotcom’s previous name — Kim Schmitz — “relates to a method and to a device for the authorization in data transmission systems employing a transaction authorization number (TAN) or a comparable password.”

Dotcom said he never bothered to sue companies before because he believes  “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.”

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help,” he added later. “We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help funding my defense.”

With two-step verification, users must enter their password and a verification code when signing into an account. The code, usually, is sent to the user’s phone via text, voice call, or mobile app.

During sign-in, the user often can request the service no longer ask for a verification code on that particular computer. From that point on, only the user’s password will be required. However, if the user or someone else tries to sign in from a different computer, a verification code will be required to gain access to the account.