Skype has new patent litigation to deal with just a month after its acquisition by Microsoft. Via Vadis, a company from Luxembourg, is complaining that Skype infringed on two of its patents.
Via Vadis had been attempting litigation against Skype in Europe. However, now that Skype is being bought by Microsoft, Via Vadis is bringing its case to the United States. Skype is now being sued in the US District of Delaware, with papers filed on the same day that Microsoft pronounced its deal to acquire the VoIP giant.
The US patent lawsuit filed in the federal court by Via Vadis seeks damages and a court order that would force Skype to stop infringing its technology. The case alleges infringement of two patents related to organizing and accessing data, namely US Patent No. RE40,521 and US Patent No. 7,904,680. Both of these patents are fundamental to P2P, or peer to peer, technology that forms the basis of the Skype service.
Via Vadis has already filed comparable patent infringement cases in Luxembourg, Japan and Germany over the last year, but so far without any conclusive results. For the suit in Luxembourg, the court dispatched a discovery order to gather evidence and inspect Skype’s offices but only in that country. Nonetheless, Skype declined to cooperate and it protested the ruling. Furthermore, Skype has also refused to share its source code in the Luxembourg case.
Skype hasn’t issued any comments on the new litigation in the US, but it’s notable that the internet video phone company has successfully deflected alleged patent infringement lawsuits numerous times before. Moreover, the contested patents of Via Vadis were originally filed in 2005, which is some time after various versions of Skype’s P2P technology were already operational. It’s still unclear whether Via Vadis is suggesting that the patents in question apply to technology that Skype has used since that time.