Cyber safety company Family Zone (ASX: FZO) has been granted a patent in the US market for its cloud-based internet monitoring service.

The patent — which was first lodged in 2013 — was awarded in relation to FZO’s Device Management System.

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  • Shares in the company rose 15 per cent in morning trade to 26.5 per cent — a 2019 high, although still down from the 12-month high of 50 cents reached last August:

    “Significant milestone”

    Family Zone said the approval gives it patent protection in the US market for its platform approach to internet security, which allows usage to be monitored acros “end-user devices, in mobile networks or in network gateways”.

    The company said the patent is a “significant milestone” in its efforts to gain first-move advantage in the market for parental controls of internet usage, which it estimates has a value of around $US100 billion but only around five per cent market penetration.

    FZO says its technology gives access to that market by offering parents and schools “the ability to cooperate and apply ‘their rules’ across any network and any device”.

    When it comes to personalised rules, the Victorian state government has gone one step further and plans to ban mobile phones in primary and secondary schools starting next year.

    In response, Family Zone issued a list of 10 “practical realities” which it argued made a blanket-style ban unviable.

    But the US market is also a clear focus for the company, and it says the patent will establish “a mechanism for Family Zone to not only win in our chosen market, but to protect ourselves from competitor encroachment”.

    The company says it will continue to pursue additional international patents for other global jurisdictions.

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