VirnetX targets Skype, Lync in new patent attack on Microsoft

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VirnetX targets Skype, Lync in new patent attack on Microsoft


Patent holding company VirnetX this week filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Microsoft's Skype of infringing six of its patents.

VirnetX is best known for scoring a pair of major courtroom victories against Microsoft in 2010 and Apple last year. The 2010 litigation win over Microsoft resulted in a $200 million settlement that included a licensing deal the two companies struck.

This week's lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court, claimed the patents licensed by Microsoft are also infringed by Skype, the Internet chat and calling service the Redmond, Wash. firm acquired in October 2011 for $8.5 billion.

"Although Microsoft previously signed a patent license with VirnetX, we believe they are infringing our patents in ways that are outside the scope of the original license," Kendall Larsen, VirnetX's CEO and president, said in a statement.

VirnetX noted that the Skype acquisition occurred after it reached the settlement and licensing agreement with Microsoft in 2010.

More specifically, VirnetX alleged that Microsoft's license did not let it use the technologies in non-Windows software. Skype, however, is a multi-platform service that supports not only Windows, but also Google's Android, Apple's iOS and OS X, Linux, and the BlackBerry and Symbian mobile operating systems.

VirnetX also said Microsoft's integration of Skype with Lync, Microsoft's enterprise-grade instant messaging, and audio and video conferencing server, infringed the patents because the 2010 licensing agreement did not include Skype. VirnetX asked the court for an injunction that would stop the distribution of Skype and Lync, and demanded unspecified damages for the alleged infringement.

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(These latest Intellectual Property (IP) news and events presented here,are prepared and compiled by us,the World Patent & Trademark Law Office (WPTO),for your reference and information)


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