Microsoft Hit with Patent Lawsuit Over Skype Features

/ 3 years ago


Melville, New York-based CopyTele Inc. (CTI) said that subsidiary Secure Web Conference Corporation has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York. CTI claims that Skype infringes on their patents for encryption technology utilized by Microsoft’s video conferencing service.

With coverage on web conferencing technology across an industry that generates over $4 billion in annual revenue, these encryption patents are a prime example of the enormous, untapped potential at CTI. The new management team was attracted to CTI because of the tremendous value of its patents that were masked by its previous business model. Robert Berman, CTI’s President and CEO

CTI’s main business is developing their own patents or even acquiring 3rd parties’ to monetize and assert on them. The CEO of the company does not shy away from this fact either saying that they will continue to “mine its patents” and launch “additional assertion programs with significant revenue opportunities.”

Microsoft is CTI’s second patent assertion campaign. In January the company launched its first attack against AU Optronics Corp. and E Ink Holdings regarding patented electrophoretic display technologies that was developed in-house. The company currently has 6 patent portfolios spanning key-based encryption to e-paper to window frame construction technology.

The complaint against Microsoft can be accessed here, and covers two U.S. patents that were granted in 2005: “Method and apparatus for securing e-mail attachments” and “Portable telecommunication security device”. The first one covers an exchange of information using public-key and private-key encryption, and the user’s email address. The second one covers a security device that’s defined as a keyboard and microprocessor with multiple inputs and outputs.

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