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InfoQ Homepage News Patent Holder Pursues IP Grab on TCP/IP

Patent Holder Pursues IP Grab on TCP/IP

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This was an April Fools joke: "Dellor, KCIR" is "rick rolled" spelled backwards. We hope you enjoyed it.

A networking hardware vendor based in Austin, Texas says it's going to pursue royalties on the implementation of the TCP/IP set of protocols. Formerly known as Dellor, KCIR Networks acquired Comer Labs in 1997, acquiring this patent into the bargain. The patent claim was filed in 1975, but Comer Labs never pursued royalties.

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), the most popular protocols of the Internet protocol suite, which consists of several communications protocols, and is used for the Internet as well as being the most popular protocol stack for wide area networks. TCP/IP provides end-to-end connectivity specifying how data should be formatted, addressed, transmitted, routed and received at the destination.

Most computer operating systems in use today, including all consumer-targeted systems, include a TCP/IP implementation.

KCIR Networks last week declared that it has "the sole and exclusive right to use and license all the claims" under the patent and is seeking a deal wherever TCP/IP is implemented, with the exception of DoD and academic projects.

It specifies operating systems and hardware networking stacks in its “clarification”. So the IP claim extends to any device that contains a TCP/IP implementation. This even includes implementations for embedded systems, packet radio systems and personal computers connected via serial lines.

KCIR Networks’ most recent SEC filing states that another company, has paid $55 million for licensing patent 6,972,200,052: a significant portion of the $83 million KCIR Networks had as revenue in the last quarter.

In its filing, KCIR Networks adds:

We are pursuing additional license agreements with other companies from multiple industries; however, there can be no assurance that additional licenses can be obtained or, if obtained will be on similar favorable terms.

KCIR Networks had yet to respond to our enquiries at time of writing.

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Community comments

  • What a coincidence ..

    by Cameron Purdy,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    .. that this news came out today!

  • Re: What a coincidence ..

    by Matt Giacomini,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    With all the patent suites these days...

    If this had come out on any other day I probably would not have given the headline a second glance.

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