Toronto firm awarded world’s first RaaS patent

Joshua Geist’s brand new lucky number is a long one: 8,135,838.

That’s the U.S. Patent and Trademark number assigned to the recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) technology developed byGeist’s Toronto company,Geminare – the first RaaS patent ever issued in the world.

The patent office’s officialdescription of the technology is “(a)system and method for providing data and application continuity in acomputer system.” Geist, however, also describes it as a significantmilestone for Geminare, which was founded in Toronto in 2005 and movedits corporate head office to Silicon Valley’s Mountainview, Calif. in2011.

“It’s the culmination of five years of a huge amount of development.Not only do we have recognition from the patent office but also marketrecognition, so it’s both sides of the fence,” says Geist, presidentand CEO of Geminare.

“The actual recognition (of the patent) really helps to validate thebusiness and why people are investing in the business,” Geist adds.

Landing the world’s first patent in RaaS bolsters market credibilityfor Geminare’s cloud-based backup and recovery services because itvalidates the how innovative the company’s technology is, he says.

“It’s not easy. It’s completely a burden of proof. (The patent office)spends a huge amount of time trying to find other (similar) IT outthere to say ‘This is why we’re not going to issue you a patent.’ But(getting a patent means) you guys thought of it, you innovated it andit’s unique in the market place.”

The patent also signals a landmark in the maturity of the cloud sectoroverall and RaaS in particular, Geist says, noting that analysts atmost major IT research houses have now initiated coverage of the RaaSspace.

Cloud: Not just hype
“(Cloud recovery) is not just a hype curve. It’s really happening andhaving an impact on traditional providers and actually building brandnew providers,” he says.

Geist, a University of Western Ontario grad in applied physics andcomputer science, started Geminare in Toronto. The company launchedwhat it calls the industry’s first RaaS enterprise cloud solutiontargeted to SMBs in 2006. Geist hopesGeminare’s patent win willposition the company as a key player in the evolution of cloud backupand recovery.

“It allows traditional software companies to transition their softwareinto cloud services without rewriting their software stacks,” he says.

Geminare counts Microsoft Corp., CA Technologies Inc., AllstreamandIngram Micro Inc. among its customers.

Although Geminare opened a California corporate office for mostlybusiness purposes (sales, business development and administration) lastsummer, the bulk of its technical development, support and operationsare still based in downtown Toronto. The firm has 25 staff overall,with five employees in California and the rest in Toronto. ThoughGeminare was never a resident of the MaRS Discovery District incubatorprogram, Geist has been involved in mentoring other startups there.

“The skill level of Canadian technology development talent is very,very strong and remains strong. There’s a very large block ofdevelopers and strong technical operators in Toronto in particular,” hesays.

Christine WongChristineWong is a Staff Writer at Follow her on Twitter,and join in the conversation on the IT BusinessFacebook Page.
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