When I saw the TechCrunch headline 'Patent Lawsuit Filed Against Skype Same Day Microsoft Deal Was Announced' I immediately thought of the various Joltid lawsuits filed by co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who own the P2P technology licensed by Skype. But surely, Microsoft, which acquired Skype would have made their due diligence before paying out $8.5 billion for Skype. It turns out that it's not JoltId's Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis suing.
According to Techcrunch:
The case is Via Vadis Vs. Skype and was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia. Via Vadis is a Luxembourg-based company with a license to the patents in question: U.S. Patent No. 7904680: “Data access management system as well as a method for data access and data” and U.S. Reissue Patent RE40,521 of the same name. (The inventor of both is Thomas Binzinger, and the assignee is AC Technologies).
Both patents describe data management systems which break up files for redundancy and distribute them across different “storage units.” The lawsuit claims the patents cover the same technology Skype uses for its “supernodes”—which function as fallback peers in Skype’s peer-to-peer technology. The first patent was issued on March 8, 2011, and the application goes back to July 23, 2005.
Techcrunch explains the lawsuit is from a company that issued a patent application back on July 23, 2005, while Skype had a working P2P with supernode architecture back in 2003. Seems like clear prior art to me. Skype clearly has the technology ahead of the 2005 application by two years!
If I may borrow Willy Wonka, "It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole Skype's fizzy P2P supernodes! You bumped into the bandwidth ceiling which now has to be optimized and QoS'ed, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!"
Or if you prefer the original non-remix: