Net2Phone, which filed its lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, alleges that Skype infringed on its patent, No. 6,108,704. The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) patent was issued to Net2Phone in August 2000.
Net2Phone alleges that Skype, a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, violated its "point-to-point Internet Protocol" patent. The patent calls for the exchange of IP addresses between processing units in order to establish a direct communications link between the devices via the Internet.
I've built a gallery section with a screen cap of the complaint's abstract, as well as six more caps with a total of nine drawings from the Net2Phone patent.
Here's the text of the Abstract that defines this patent:
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.
If you go to the Gallery, you will see a total of six figure-bearing grabs. Here, from the actual patent app, is your key to understanding each of these figures:
FIG. 1 illustrates, in block diagram format, a system for the disclosed point-to-point Internet protocol; FIG. 2 illustrates, in block diagram format, the system using a secondary point-to-point Internet protocol; FIG. 3 illustrates, in block diagram format, the system of FIGS. 1-2 with the point-to-point Internet protocol established; FIG. 4 is another block diagram of the system of FIGS. 1-2 with audio communications being conducted; FIG. 5 illustrates a display screen for a processing unit; FIG. 6 illustrates another display screen for a processing unit; FIG. 7 illustrates a flowchart of the initiation of the point-to-point Internet protocols; FIG. 8 illustrates a flowchart of the performance of the primary point-to-point Internet protocols; and FIG. 9 illustrates a flowchart of the performance of the secondary point-to-point Internet protocol.