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McAfee Claims Patent For Wireless Software Updates

McAfee, Inc., best known as a provider of anti-virus and other security software, said late Monday that it has received a U.S. patent for technology that it claims can wirelessly update files on mobile devices while minimizing bandwidth usage.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said that the patent, which covers the ability to update files on one device with more recent versions of the same file residing on another device, is tuned specifically for wireless.

"This technology caters to wireless environments,” Victor Kouznetsov, senior vice president of McAfee Mobile, said in a statement. “To accommodate updating wireless devices, portions of updates may be stored as and when they become available."

The company said that the technology would first create a connection between wireless devices, then determine whether a file on one device is more recent that the same file on the second device. If so, the system can automatically update the older file. To save bandwidth, only the system can update only portions of the file that are out of date, according to the company.

McAfee provided no specific applications for its technology, but as virus and other threats to mobile devices increase, it could be used to update files used by on-device anti-virus and anti-spyware software.