Bloomberg News

Skype Sued by Luxembourg Company Over Data-Access Patents

June 09, 2011

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Skype Technologies SA, which Microsoft Corp. is buying for $8.5 billion, was sued by a Luxembourg company over claims it infringed two patents for accessing and managing data.

Via Vadis LLC claims Skype, also based in Luxembourg, infringed U.S. patents issued in September 2008 and March 2011. The company seeks unspecified damages in the complaint filed today in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Prior to the filing of this patent infringement action in the U.S., defendants were advised of Via Vadis’s patented technology and that the Skype peer-to-peer VOIP communications systems, methods, products and services infringe Via Vadis’s patent rights,” lawyers for the company said in court papers.

Via Vadis filed a similar lawsuit in April in Luxembourg after settlement talks with Skype failed, according to the complaint. Via Vadis also sued Skype in Germany in January over a patent and filed a request with authorities in Luxembourg to inspect Skype’s offices, according to the complaint. Skype’s appeal of the search order is pending, lawyers for Via Vadis said in court papers.

Jennifer Caukin, a spokeswoman for Skype, didn’t immediately return a phone call and e-mail seeking comment on the complaint.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, is buying Skype, which has 170 million active users, to connect the Internet calling service to its Outlook e-mail, Xbox game console, Windows mobile phone and corporate-phone software.

The case is Via Vadis LLC v. Skype Inc., 11-00507, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

--Editors: Stephen Farr, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Wilmington, Delaware, at spearson3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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