Net2Phone, the pioneering Internet phone company that was destined to become a subsidiary of IDT despite objectons from some shareholders, seemingly has figured out a way to strike back against their enduring irrelevance.
Now, they're taking Skype to court for patent infringement.
The Patent that seems to be causing this ruckus is 6108704, Point-To-Point Internet Protocol.
The Abstract of this October 22, 2000 (yes, you read the year right) Patent reads:
A point-to-point Internet protocol exchanges Internet Protocol (IP) addresses between processing units to establish a point-to-point communication link between the processing units through the Internet.
A first point-to-point Internet protocol includes the steps of (a) storing in a database a respective IP address of a set of processing units that have an on-line status with respect to the Internet; (b) transmitting a query from a first processing unit to a connection server to determine the on-line status of a second processing unit; and (c) retrieving the IP address of the second unit from the database using the connection server, in response to the determination of a positive on-line status of the second processing unit, for establishing a point-to-point communication link between the first and second processing units through the Internet.
A second point-to-point Internet protocol includes the steps of (a) transmitting an E-mail signal, including a first IP address, from a first processing unit; (b) processing the E-mail signal through the Internet to deliver the E-mail signal to a second processing unit; and (c) transmitting a second IP address to the first processing unit for establishing a point-to-point communication link between the first and second processing units through the Internet
What's this? A patent suit 7.5 years after the fact?
My theory is that if Net2Phone had listened to me a couple of years ago, and energetically sought out bids from major telecoms and service providers, maybe they wouldn't have been so desperate.
But no, they decided to vector straight into the arms of an owner with an obscure profile in the VoIP space.
And so how is Net2Phone's lack of such a profile Skype's fault?
Most certainly is not. If anything, this is a matter of doing the wrong deal with the wrong company at the wrong time.