By Quandary Peak Research
Kenneth Weiss, the former CTO and Chairman of the Board at RSA Security, sued Apple Inc. and Visa in May 2017. Mr. Weiss is the founder of Universal Secure Registry (USR) and the inventor of RSA’s SecurID technology, and he is alleging that Apple Pay violates various patents he owns related to encryption technology. Below, we’ll examine the history surrounding the case and its implications.
Mr. Weiss, who founded Secure Dynamics in 1984 and was its chairman until 1996 (when the company acquired RSA Data Security), holds 13 patents for various authentication systems he invented. Most of these patents are in security and encryption, specifically relating to smartphones, fingerprint identification, and token systems for secure financial transactions. He founded USR with the mission “to be the enabling technology of the cashless society by licensing its proprietary authentication and identification software technology, entering into strategic alliances and cooperatively supporting third parties implementing USR technology”.
Starting in mid-2010, Mr. Weiss states he had multiple meetings with Visa higher-ups to discuss a commercial implementation for his technology, culminating with Visa signing a 10-year nondisclosure agreement for access while also assigning engineers to understand its ins-and-outs. Mr. Weiss says he wrote to Apple multiple times beginning in July 2010, offering the opportunity to license the technology for their use. He alleges that both companies then ceased to communicate with him – Apple never responded to his query, and Visa never secured a license for commercial use. Three years later, Visa, Apple, and other major credit card companies worked together to create the Apple Pay technology, which was released to the public in 2014.
The lawsuit argues that Apple Pay violates four specific patents (all of which are foundational to the platform) relating to technology invented by Mr. Weiss and held by […]