Google Acquires Patent on Speeding up SSL on Networks

On August 6th, Google announced that https was becoming a ranking signal for Google Search.

I’m not completely sure of the implications of a discovery I made earlier today yet, but I noticed at the USPTO assignment database that Google had been assigned a patent from AT&T in June, which was officially recorded on August 8th, 2014.

USPTO Database showing Assignment of AT&T patent to Google

The patent is:

Method for content distribution in a network supporting a security protocol


Invented by Frederick Douglis, Michael Rabinovich, Aviel D. Rubin, Oliver Spatscheck
Assigned to: AT&T Corp.
US Patent 7,149,803
Granted December 12, 2006
Filed: June 8, 2001

The abstract from the patent is fairly simple, and tells us:

The present invention is directed to a method of providing content distribution services while minimizing the processing time required for security protocols such as the Secure Sockets Layer.

In short, it appears that there has been a cost in speed related to the use of Secure Socket Layers security that the process described in this patent helps to speed up.

Is Google’s acquisition of this patent a matter of dotting all i’s and crossing all t’s?

I don’t suspect a profit motivation in the purchase of the patent, but the nearness of the acquisition and the announcement of https becoming a ranking signal is interesting.

It is a sign of how careful Google has become when they consider whether or not something should play a role in the ranking of pages on the Web.


Author: Bill Slawski

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