Google Acquires Mangosoft’s Distributed Directory Service Patents for $3.2 Million

mangosoft logo

One of the biggest names in peer to peer technology is Skype. In 2008, Skype settled with Mangosoft Technologies in a patent infringement case over a patent apparently related to “dynamic directory service”. Mangosoft’s victory in the case wasn’t enough to keep the company thriving and in May, Mango Capital announced that their subsidiary, MangoSoft Intellectual Property, Inc., sold all of its patent rights for $3.2 million.

While Google used peer-to-peer technology in GMail video, the company blogged a couple of days ago that that video communication service would be replaced with Google Hangouts and no longer rely upon peer-to-peer technology.

Google was assigned 9 granted patents and 4 pending patents from Mangosoft Intellectual Property Inc., as noted in an assignment executed on May 1, 2012 and recorded on July 31, 2012. Among the patent filings is a granted patent and 2 pending patents titled “Dynamic Directory Service.” This directory service “maintains a directory in which is stored both (1) directory information and (2) the physical layout of the directory itself” over the network itself rather than in a centralized location.

The Mangosoft website doesn’t appear to have been updated much since 2007, with the most recent filing appearing to be a document filed with the SEC terminating the company from the responsibility of filing earnings reports with the SEC.

In addition to the distributed directory technology, the remaining technology appears to involve making it easier to share data files across a distributed network. Hard to say exactly how Google might use this technology with the news that GMail video is no longer relying upon peer-to-peer technology.

The patent filings involved in the transaction include:

Shared memory computer networks
Invented by John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, William Abraham, Steven J. Frank, Thomas G. Hansen, Robert S. Phillips, Daniel J. Dietterich, David Porter
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 6,148,377
Granted November 14, 2000
Filed: November 22, 1996

Abstract

Distributed shared memory systems and processes that can connect into each node of a computer network to encapsulate the memory management operations of the connected nodes and to provide thereby an abstraction of a shared virtual memory that can span across each node of the network and that optionally spans across each memory device connected to the computer network. Accordingly, each node on the network having the distributed shared memory system of the invention can access the shared memory.

Structured data storage using globally addressable memory
Invented by Scott H. Davis, John B. Carter, Steven J. Frank, Hsin H. Lee, and Daniel J. Dietterich
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 5,918,229
Granted June 29, 1999
Filed: March 28, 1997

Abstract

In a network of computer nodes, a structured storage system interfaces to a globally addressable memory system that provides persistent storage of data. The globally addressable memory system may be a distributed shared memory (DSM) system. A control program resident on each network node can direct the memory system to map file and directory data into the shared memory space.

The memory system can include functionality to share data, coherently replicate data, and create log-based transaction data to allow for recovery. In one embodiment, the memory system provides memory device services to the data control program. These services can include read, write, allocate, flush, or any other similar or additional service suitable for providing low level control of a memory storage device.

The data control program employs these memory system services to allocate and access portions of the shared memory space for creating and manipulating a structured store of data such as a file system, a database system, or a Web page system for storing, retrieving, and delivering objects such as files, database records or information, and Web pages.

Shared client-side web caching using globally addressable memory
Invented by John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Steven J. Frank, and Hsin H. Lee
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 6,026,474
Granted February 15, 2000
Filed: May 2, 1997

Abstract

A shared client-side Web cache is provided by implementing a file system shared between nodes. Each browser application stores cached data in files stored in a globally addressable data store. Since the file system is a shared one, the client-side Web caches are also shared.

Dynamic directory service
Invented by Daniel J. Dietterich, Robert S. Phillips, John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Steven J. Frank, and William Abraham
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 6,647,393
Granted November 11, 2003
Filed: May 2, 1997

Abstract

In a network of computer nodes, a directory service provides both the physical location of directory information around the network and the directory information itself in a single data structure. This single data structure is distributed throughout the network, and continuously redistributed, so as to create a directory service that is both more flexible, and more robust, than prior art directory services.

Remote access and geographically distributed computers in a globally addressable storage environment
Invented by John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Steven J. Frank,
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 5,987,506
Granted November 16, 1999
Filed: May 2, 1997

Abstract

A computer system employs a globally addressable storage environment that allows a plurality of networked computers to access data by addressing even when the data is stored on a persistent storage device such as a computer hard disk and other traditionally non-addressable data storage devices. The computers can be located on a single computer network or on a plurality of interconnected computer networks such as two local area networks (LANs) coupled by a wide area network (WAN). The globally addressable storage environment allows data to be accessed and shared by and among the various computers on the plurality of networks.

System and method for providing highly available data storage using globally addressable memory
Invented by John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Steven J. Frank, Robert S. Phillips, John Woods, David Porter, Hsin H. Lee
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 5,909,540
Granted June 1, 1999
Filed: May 2, 1997

Abstract

A network of computer node interface to globally addressable memory system that provides persistent storage of data exchange periodic connectivity information. The exchanged connectivity information provides information regarding node failure to other nodes in the system, and the surviving nodes use the information to determine which node, if any, has ceased functioning.

Various processes are used to recover the portion of the global address space for which the failed node was responsible, including RAM directory, disk directory, or file system information. Additionally, nodes may be subdivided into groups and connectivity information is exchanged between nodes belonging to a group. Each group then exchanges group-wise connectivity information and failures may be recovered.

Distributed virtual web cache implemented entirely in software
Invented by Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Paul D. Asselin, Gerard R. Plouffe, Phillip John Romine
Assigned to MangoSoft Corporation
US Patent 6,760,756
Granted July 6, 2004
Filed: June 21, 2000

Abstract

A method and system are provided for optimizing the local caching of one or more data components available from a server node. Each of plural nodes connected to a local area network is provided with a locally physically present cache. Each of the caches of at least some of the plurality of nodes are linked together into a single virtual cache.

A particular one of the nodes is designated as a repository node for persistently storing a particular data component and for providing a copy of the particular data component to other referencing nodes of the plurality of nodes which lack, but which desire to access, the particular data component. Designation of the particular node as the repository node is unchanged solely by providing a copy of the particular data component to one of the referencing nodes that desires to access the particular data component.

The repository function of a node for a particular data component is relatively static. For instance, assume that a first referencing node obtains from the repository node a copy of the particular data component and performs a group of one or more access operations on the copy of the data component. If another referencing node lacks a copy of, but desires to access, the particular data component, a copy of the particular data component is provided from the repository node to the other referencing node.

One of the nodes may be designated as a monitor node for the particular data component. The monitor node responds to requests by each referencing node to identify the repository node of the particular data component by providing the identity of the particular node which serves as the repository node for the particular data component.

Internet-based shared file service with native PC client access and semantics and distributed access control
Invented by Robert S. Phillips, Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Scott E. Nyman, and David Porter
Assigned to Mangosoft Intellectual Property, Inc.
US Patent 7,136,903
Granted November 14, 2006
Filed: November 1, 2000

Abstract

A multi-user file storage service and system enable each user of a pre-subscribed user group to communicate with a remote file server node via a wide area network and to access the files of the file group via the respective client node. More than one user of the pre-subscribed user group is permitted to access the file group at the remote file server node simultaneously.

Integrity of the files at the remote file server node are maintained by controlling each access to each file at the remote file server node so that each access to files at the remote file server is performed, if at all, on a respective portion of each file as most recently updated at the remote file server node. Additionally, an encrypted key is transferred from the file server node to a particular client node via a secure channel. The encrypted key uses an encryption function and a decryption function not known locally at the remote file server.

Furthermore, both privileged access control rights and file sharing mode access control to a particular file of the group of files are delegated to one or more distributed nodes other than the remote file server node which provides the data.

Internet-based shared file service with native PC client access and semantics
Invented by Robert S. Phillips, Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Scott E. Nyman, David Porter
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent 7,058,696
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed: November 1, 2000

Abstract

A multi-user file storage service and system enables each user of a user group to operate an arbitrary client node at an arbitrary geographic location to communicate with a remote file server node via a wide area network. More than one user of the user group is permitted to access the file group at the remote file server node simultaneously, but the integrity of the files is maintained by controlling access so that each access to one of the files at the remote file server is performed, if at all, on a respective portion of that file as most recently updated at the remote file server node.

Patent Applications

Method for Scheduling Thread Execution on a Limited Number of Operating System Threads
Invented buy Daniel J. Dietterich, John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Steven J. Frank, Thomas G. Hansen, and Hsin H. Lee
US Patent Application 20020046230
Published April 18, 2002
Filed: April 29, 1998

Abstract

A system for scheduling thread execution on a limited number of operating system threads inside a kernel device driver and allowing execution of context threads by kernel mode threads includes a kernel device driver that itself includes at least one kernel thread. A data structure stored in a memory element is associated with a context thread to be executed by the system. A flow scheduler stores context thread state in the associated data structure and schedules the execution of one or more context threads.

Dynamic directory service
Invented by Daniel J. Dietterich, Robert S. Phillips, John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Steven J. Frank, and William Abraham
US Patent Application 20040117410
Published June 17, 2004
Filed: November 7, 2003

Abstract

In a network of computer nodes, a directory service provides both the physical location of directory information around the network and the directory information itself in a single data structure.

Internet-based shared file service with native PC client access and semantics and distributed version control
Invented by Robert S. Phillips, Scott H. Davis, Daniel J. Dietterich, Scott E. Nyman, David Porter
Assigned to MangoSoft Corp.
US Patent Application 20060129627
Published June 15, 2006
Filed: November 21, 2005

Abstract

A multi-user file storage service and system enable each user of a pre-subscribed user group to operate an arbitrary client node at an arbitrary geographic location, to communicate with a remote file server node via a wide area network and to access the files of the file group via the respective client node in communication with the remote file server node via the wide area network.

More than one user of the pre-subscribed user group is permitted to access the file group at the remote file server node simultaneously. Illustratively, the integrity of the files at the remote file server node are maintained by controlling each access to each file at the remote file server node so that each access to files at the remote file server is performed, if at all, on a respective portion of each file as most recently updated at the remote file server node.

Thus, all native operating system application programming interfaces operate as if all multi-user applications accessing the files function as if the remote server and client nodes were on the same local area network. Illustratively, an interface is provided for adapting file access one of the client nodes. The interface designates at the client node each accessible file of the group as stored on a virtual storage device.

The interface enables access to the designated files in a fashion which is indistinguishable, by users of, and applications executing at, the client node, with access to one or more files stored on a physical storage device that is locally present at the client node. Illustratively, an encrypted key is transferred from the remote file server node to one of the client nodes via a secure channel. The key is encrypted using an encryption function not known locally at the remote file server node.

The transferred key is decrypted at the client node. The key is used at the client node to decrypt information of the files downloaded from the remote file server node or to encrypt information of the files prior to uploading for storage at the remote file server node. Access control to a particular one of the files of the group can be delegated to an access control node.

Dynamic Directory Service
Invented by Daniel J. Dietterich, Robert S. Phillips, John B. Carter, Scott H. Davis, Steven J. Frank, and William Abraham
Assigned to Mangosoft Corporation
US Patent Application 20080256090
Published October 16, 2008
Filed: June 23, 2008

Abstract

In a network of computer nodes, a directory service provides both the physical location of directory information around the network and the directory information itself in a single data structure. This single data structure is distributed throughout the network, and continuously redistributed, so as to create a directory service that is both more flexible, and more robust, than prior art directory services.

Share

3 thoughts on “Google Acquires Mangosoft’s Distributed Directory Service Patents for $3.2 Million”

  1. Interesting. We’ll see how Google will use this technology in Google Hangouts. Even after reading the abstracts it is hard for me to guess what their plans are.

  2. Let us see in due cource ,how this Google Acquired Mangosoft’s Distributed Directory Service performance will be.

  3. I can’t wait until Google Hangouts is up and running at full speed! I think that in 5 years, Google will not only be the internet search leader, but the social communications leader as well!

Comments are closed.