Feeds

UK firm patents software downloads

BTG in talks 'with several firms'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A British company with a history of taking on larger rivals says it owns six patents affecting software downloads. The claim comes from British Technology Group (BTG), which is in the business of turning inventors' ideas into commercial products. If true, it could mean that dozens of software firms that use the Web to deliver certain kinds of software - including security updates and patches - could be forced to pay royalties to BTG.

The company also claims to hold a patent that relates to off-line Internet browsing, another area that could be lucrative in terms of royalty payments.

So far, BTG has declined to say which firms could be affected by its claims, although the company says it is in talks with several firms about the matter. The UK's Daily Telegraph, which broke the story, speculates that Microsoft - which delivers millions of security updates for its software over the Net - is one of the firms on BTG's hit list.

Anti-virus companies are also thought to be at risk if BTG's claims hold true, since these firms depend on the Web to update anti-virus systems on millions of computers on a daily basis.

Though no lawsuits have yet been filed, the firm has not yet ruled out the possibility if current discussions prove fruitless.

In its last set of results, covering the year ending in March 2004, BTG reported a 55 per cent rise in turnover to £48.8m as its pre-tax loss was reduced by 37 per cent to £22.8m. More than half of its revenues came from royalty payments on existing technology and products, and this figure rose 12 per cent in the year to £27.8m.

Despite its relatively small size, BTG has been successful in taking bigger organisations to court when seeking remuneration for technology and ideas that it claims ownership over. In 1989, the company famously won a £6m battle with the Pentagon over technology used in hovercrafts.

More recently, BTG has faced hard times after one of its technologies called Varisolve, which is used for varicose vein treatment, was not approved by the US regulators.

© ENN

Related stories

Microsoft's war on GPL dealt patent setback
EU patent law dies, software law lives
Microsoft aiming IBM-scale patent program at Linux?

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.