Columbia Pictures MARSHALL, TX—Who is Michael Jones, and what did he invent? After five years of legal battles over Jones’ patent involving hundreds of lawsuits and tens of millions of dollars in payments, that question still has no clear answer. Whatever the invention, hundreds of companies have paid tribute to it. Jones’ patent, now wielded through a holding company called TQP Development, has become one of the most widely asserted patents in history. In complaints, TQP lawyers have accused website after website of patent infringement for using one of the most common Web-encryption strategies: combining the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol with the RC4 encryption algorithm. 3     

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