VirnetX pulls Microsoft back to court over Skype patent claims

VirnetX pulls Microsoft back to court over Skype patent claims

Summary: After managing to successfully settle with Microsoft in the past over a number of patent infringement claims, VirnetX is heading to court over claims that its patents are still being infringed in Skype.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Legal, Patents

Internet security software company VirnetX is meeting Microsoft head on in court again over allegations of patent infringement.

The company's complaint is in regards to six patents that it believes Microsoft's Skype infringes upon. These patents include two that Microsoft has been previously accused of infringing in some of its Windows operating systems, Live Communications Server, Windows Messenger, Office Communicator, and versions of Office.

In the previous case, filed in 2007, Microsoft lost the first round of the legal battle, and then in 2010 became subject to an additional complaint by VirnetX on the same patents being used in Windows 7. Microsoft ultimately settled out of court, paying VirnetX US$200 million and agreeing to a limited licence to implement VirnetX's patents in its software.

However, given that Microsoft now owns Skype, VirnetX argued that the complaint now also applies to this software.

"Skype was purchased after the limited licence was signed between Microsoft and VirnetX. This infringement falls outside of the scope of the prior licence," VirnetX wrote in a statement.

The company is seeking damages and injunctive relief.

ZDNet contacted Microsoft for comment, but had not received a response at the time of writing.

Topics: Microsoft, Legal, Patents

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Any Excuse For Good Old Double-Dipping

    The greed of these patent owners knows no bounds. Not content with being paid off once, if they scent the slightest grounds for coming back and demanding more money, they will.

    Why bother to appease them? Paying them off doesn't get them off your back, it only seems to encourage them.
  • Aw poor Microsoft

    Purveyors of flimsy patent suits gets sued, what a shame.
    Alan Smithie
    • Re: Aw poor Microsoft

      I have no particular sympathy for Microsoft. But that doesn't excuse the actions of these patent predators--nobody is safe from them. They need to be stopped. And if that makes things easier for Microsoft, then so be it--justice is not justice unless it applies to all.
    • LOL!

      There is nothing flimsy about Microsoft's patents or patent suits. That's why they win most patent battles and are stomping Google/Motorola in court. It's also why practically every Android OEM signed patent licensing agreements with Microsoft.

      Just because you hate Microsoft doesn't excuse a patent troll from this kind of BS.