You can’t be in tech today and not have mixed feelings about patents. In theory, patents allow the ‘little person’ to benefit from their ‘intellectual property’ and invention. On the other hand, countless stories circulate of patent trolls as well as large tech companies using patent portfolios amassed (acquired?) over many years to preemptively block new innovation from benefiting the consumer.
We’re excited to see new takes on combatting patent trolls like Twitter’s Patent Pledge or Newegg’s campaign to invalidate bad patents. As a small startup with a much smaller legal budget, there’s little choice in the matter. We have been busy inventing, building and …well… patenting.
I am rather proud that a bit more than a year out of the starting gate we have been granted (yes, that’s granted) three patents and have a bunch more that have been filed and pending.
- We have been granted a rather broad patent on the concept of an external ‘controller’ per drive. The actual patent is titled “Network addressable storage controller with storage drive profile comparison” and can be found here.
- The second patent covers the concept of prioritized repair titled “Prioritized repair of data storage failures.” Our extensive experience in helping customers build and run large-scale storage systems, informed our insights in best recovering from component-level failures.
- We have also been granted a patent on our ideas around what we call the “Extensible data path.” Amongst engineers, I have been referring to our ideas here as “in-line but out of the latency path.” This is what will allow us to bring to you an intelligent and data-aware storage system.
Patent applications define your unique solution, but they don’t explain why users should care. So, at this point you may be asking “how would these advances help me?”
That is an excellent question, and I plan to address how each of these patents will help you in future posts.