Our startup is trying to provide a backup solution for Google Apps for your domain. In principle it's a software running on the client computer. Our software then connects to Google via APIs (GData) + Imap (for Mail) to download data.
We recently got mail by a patent attorney stating that our software possibly violates a patent (US6981007, priority date 1999-07-09).
Especially regarding Claim 1:
A system for onsite backup of internet-based data comprising:
- a central computer;
- a client computer;
- a communications link between said central computer and the Internet;
- a communications link between said client computer and the Internet;
- at least one database containing a plurality of data records accessible by said central computer, each data record containing a client identification number;
- software executing on said central computer for receiving a data backup request from said client computer; software executing on said central computer for transmitting said data backup to said client computer for onsite backup of internet-based data on said client computer.
Our application uses really old ways to deal with data (Imap dates back to 1986, and connecting to a central server via an api is as old as the internet). We don't think that our software does infringe anything. And we think there is good reason to believe that there is tons of prior art to this.
Any help on how to tackle the problem is much appreciated. Thanks!