Commtouch purchased the anti-spam invention from William Cotton, a Statesboro, Ga., inventor who was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,330,590 in 1999.
The company said it will begin offering licenses of the patent to other anti-spam companies at an undetermined date.
Patent No. 6,330,590 covers a system that monitors live email, identifies certain characteristics of the message that appear in more than one email and blocks other emails with the same signature ID.
"When we see lots of a recurrent pattern, we start to suspect it's spam,” Commtouch CEO Amir Lev said. “We feel that this patent represents the foundation on which many of the more advanced anti-spam systems are being designed and built today.”
Commtouch already offers email filtering and management applications that help system administrators reduce the flood of spam.
Its ASAP! suite utilizes proprietary detection algorithms and software hosted at Commtouch's own data center to filter the spam from legitimate messages. An anti-spam gateway installed on the customer's network allows administrators to control what types of messages get through and what gets filtered out.
The company also markets its RPD technology that constantly searches the Internet identifying spam by volume and speed of distribution. Commtouch’s system can be integrated with email security and anti-virus applications.
The 13-year-old company is headquartered in Netanya, Israel, with a subsidiary Commtouch based in Mountain View, Calif.
According to Commtouch, there are more than 60,000 unique spam outbreaks each day, with each lasting about eight hours.