Internet security experts have implemented a system to alert American consumers when sensitive personal information such as social security numbers and online banking log-in credentials turn up in the hands of cyber criminals.
AllClear ID, an Austin, Texas-based company that provides identity theft protection, is offering the free service with help from the non-profit National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance. The NCFTA collects information on identity theft cases from member organizations that include law enforcement agencies, big Internet retailers, banks and computer security companies.
NCFTA members will pass on information about fraud that they suspect, witness or prevent directly to potential victims who sign up for the service from AllClear ID.
Consumers can enroll in the service, which is available over the web as well as through an iPhone app, at www.AllClearID.com.
Google has purchased more than 1,000 patents from IBM, as part of its strategy to strengthen its patent portfolio to counter litigation, according to records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Jim Prosser, a Google spokesman, confirmed the transfer, reported by a blog SEO by the Sea, but did not provide details such as the the purchase price Google paid for the patents.
Google also acquired another over 1,000 patents from IBM in July. It transferred recently some patents to smartphone maker HTC to help it pursue patent litigation against Apple.
Google has been interested in buying patents for some time now, which led to its failed bid in June for the patents of Nortel Networks, and its proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility for about US$12.5 billion.
The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation, Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a blog post in April.
“But as things stand today, one of a company’s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services,” he added.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility’s patents was a key consideration for Google to start talking to the company in early July. But Motorola told Google that it could be a problem for Motorola Mobility to continue as a stand-alone entity if it sold a large portion of its patent portfolio, according to a filing by Motorola to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
Like the patents from the previous patent transaction between Google and IBM, the range of inventions covered in the new set of patents is pretty broad, including desktop and server hardware, computer security, database processes, circuit design, parallel database systems and architecture, user authentication, majority of patents appear to have been originally assigned to IBM, but there were a few that started out at Cognos, which IBM acquired in 2007, and which was merged into IBM’s business intelligence offerings, it added.